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Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 87 – Burial or cremation: duty of local authority

233.Section 87 places a responsibility on a local authority where someone has been found dead in the local authority area and it appears to the authority that no arrangements have been or are being made under sections 65(2) or 66(2) for the disposal of their remains. Under subsection (2) the local authority must make the arrangements for disposal of the remains either by cremation or burial in such circumstances.

234.Subsections (3) and (4) provide that a local authority that looked after a child who has died or cared for or provided assistance to an adult who has died must make arrangements for that person’s remains to be buried or cremated if no other arrangements are being made for the disposal of the remains.

235.Subsection (5) requires that when making such arrangements the local authority should have regard to any wishes the deceased person had about the method of disposal, if those wishes are known to the local authority. They must also have regard (as far as known to the authority) to the deceased’s religion or belief when deciding whether to bury or cremate the remains. “Belief” and “religion” have the meanings given by section 10 of the Equality Act 2010. The local authority is entitled to recover any expenses it incurs in making arrangements for the burial or cremation under subsection (2) from the deceased’s estate.

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