Collection of Ashes after Cremation

 

Ashes are available for collection from the cemetery offices several days after the cremation. We ask that families read the following information prior to contacting us to arrange a collection time.

As part of the MCB’s response to the current COVID outbreak in Western Australia, we are restricting the movement of staff across cemetery sites so that we can maintain our core services over the coming months. As such, we are temporarily unable to transfer ashes between sites and will require that ashes be collected from the site at which the cremation was originally scheduled to take place. We would ask that families contact us to schedule a time to arrange collection. We are still able to post ashes via registered post.

Who can collect ashes after cremation?

Ashes should be collected by the person who signed the original permit to cremate when the cremation was scheduled. This person is often a close family member of the deceased and would have signed the permit when the funeral was arranged. Verification of identity and authority to collect will be verified at the cemetery at the time of collection.

 

What if the permit holder is unable to attend the cemetery in person to collect?

If the permit holder is not available, they can nominate a personal representative, such as the executor, or a family member, or an ordinary person who has a close personal relationship with the cremation permit holder, to collect the ashes on their behalf. The nominated ordinary person must be identified by name and their address and provide to the MCB a signed letter of authority from the cremation permit holder. For the purposes of collection, the ordinary person must present to the cemetery office, with identification, and complete any other supporting documentation that may be required such as a statutory declaration. 

 

Can the Funeral Director collect the ashes?

No. Funeral Directors can not collect ashes on behalf of the family nor can they be nominated by the permit holder as a person to collect if they are acting in their professional capacity. 

Can ashes be posted?

Ashes can be posted interstate or overseas (if permitted by the destination country).  All items are posted via registered postage and a tracking number is provided.

It is important to note that the MCB takes no responsibility for lost and/or any damage to ashes once they are in the care of an external postal service.

Please contact us should you wish to make postal arrangements.

 

How to arrange collection

So as to ensure that ashes can be transferred from the crematorium to the offices and prepared for collection, please contact us on 1300 793 109 to arrange a time prior to arriving at the cemetery.

 

Where can I collect?

Ashes can be collected at the cemetery where the cremation was booked to take place (e.g. Karrakatta).

What to expect?

Ashes are provided in an airtight blue container that is placed within a carry bag. The blue container is intentionally non-transparent and is, for many families, a temporary vessel as many ashes are scattered at a place of significance, placed within a decorative urn or placed at a memorial location in the cemetery. 

 

What happens if the ashes aren’t collected?

If the ashes of the deceased person have not been claimed or no arrangements have been made for the placement of the ashes at the cemetery by the personal representative, the MCB may  legally dispose of the ashes, at its discretion, after 6 months. Uncollected ashes are traditionally scattered in the cemetery grounds.

The cremation permit holder may arrange for the Board to hold the ashes for a further period and pay holding fees for storage. 

A series of letters are sent to the permit holder prior to any disposal taking place.

Further enquiries

Please contact the relevant cemetery on 1300 793 109 or via email (mcb@mcb.wa.gov.au).