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Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

65Arrangements on death of adult

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)This section applies where an adult dies and—

(a)the adult has not made an arrangements on death declaration, or

(b)the adult has made an arrangements on death declaration but it would not be reasonably practicable to give effect to it.

(2)The nearest relative of the adult may make arrangements for the adult’s remains to be buried or cremated.

(3)The nearest relative is the person who immediately before the adult’s death was—

(a)the adult’s spouse or civil partner,

(b)neither married to nor in a civil partnership with the adult but was living with the adult as if they were married to each other and had been so living for a period of at least 6 months (or if the adult was in hospital immediately before death had been so living for such period when the adult was admitted to hospital),

(c)the adult’s child,

(d)the adult’s parent,

(e)the adult’s brother or sister,

(f)the adult’s grandparent,

(g)the adult’s grandchild,

(h)the adult’s uncle or aunt,

(i)the adult’s cousin,

(j)the adult’s niece or nephew,

(k)a friend of long standing of the adult.

(4)If the adult’s spouse or civil partner—

(a)is permanently separated (either by agreement or under an order of a court) from the adult, or

(b)has deserted, or has been deserted by, the adult and the desertion continues,

subsection (3) is to be read as if paragraph (a) were omitted.

(5)Relationships in different paragraphs of subsection (3) rank in the order of those paragraphs and for the purposes of that subsection (including that subsection as modified by subsection (4))—

(a)a relationship of the half-blood is to be treated as a relationship of the whole blood,

(b)the stepchild of an adult is to be treated as the child of the adult.

(6)Where more than one person falls within a paragraph of subsection (3)—

(a)each such person ranks equally for the purpose of the paragraph, and

(b)either (or any) person falling within the paragraph may be the nearest relative.

(7)For the purposes of subsection (3), a person’s relationship with the adult is to be left out of account if—

(a)immediately before the adult’s death the person was under 16 years of age,

(b)the person does not wish or is unable to make arrangements for the remains to be buried or cremated, or

(c)it is not reasonably practicable to communicate with the person in the time available.

(8)In this section—

  • “adult” means a person who is 16 years of age or over,

  • “arrangements on death declaration” means a declaration by an adult specifying the person by whom the adult wishes the arrangements to be made for the burial or cremation of the adult’s remains on the adult’s death.

(9)This section is subject to section 92 of the Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008.

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