It is possible to make arrangements for a funeral yourself, but most people choose to go to a Funeral Director who can take over all of the arrangements. Most families find this service extremely helpful and supportive.

Details of local Funeral Directors or Undertakers can be obtained from your local Telephone Directory, Thomson Local or Yellow Pages.

Pre-paid Funeral Plans or Bonds

Before contacting a Funeral Director or making any arrangements, check whether the deceased had a pre-paid plan or bond, this is different from an insurance policy and will probably have been kept with the individual’s personal papers or with the family solicitor. Funeral bonds or plans normally cover all funeral expenses and some will also include the purchase of the burial plot or lair.

Funerals provided by the Local Authority

If no other arrangements can be made the local Authority has a duty to bury or cremate a person dying within their area. Aberdeenshire Council will, in such circumstances, arrange the burial, which will be conducted with dignity and respect in all circumstances. The Council, where appropriate, may also make a claim on the estate. No memorial will be permitted on the lair used.

Planning the Funeral

The Funeral Director will be able to assist with the planning of the funeral service and will advise on aspects such as:

  • where the deceased will rest while awaiting the funeral
  • whether to have flowers or make donations to a named charity
  • whether the deceased should be buried or cremated
  • transport arrangements to and from the service
  • access to and the availability of local Clergy or celebrant
  • arrangement of the actual church or location for the service and other service details

You may wish to talk to more than one Funeral Director before making a choice as to who is most suitable. A Funeral Director who is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) is required to provide you with a full estimate when you first make enquiries.
If after the funeral you are not satisfied with the service you received or the price you paid the NAFD have a complaints and arbitration service, which you can use.


Aberdeen Crematorium is located at Hazlehead, Aberdeen, telephone 01224 740722.

Moray Crematorium is located at Broadley, Clochan, Buckie, telephone 01542 850 488.


Aberdeenshire Council is responsible for 211 burial grounds of which 176 have lairs available for burial of coffins or cremated remains.


Lairs (graves) can also be purchased (in burial grounds where capacity allows) by telephone. View local burial grounds and their contact details: 

Full lairs – a standard full coffin lair will measure 2.73m long by 1.2m wide and where ground conditions allow will be sold for up to three coffin interments. Caskets of cremated remains may also be interred in full lairs.

Cremated remains – Dedicated casket lairs, where available and where ground conditions allow, will be sold for up to three casket interments.

Scattering of Ashes – ashes may be scattered under the turf of a full coffin lair or casket lair for which you hold entitlement.

Locating previously purchased Lairs

If the lair proposed for use was previously purchased, Aberdeenshire Council will require proof of entitlement. If the lair certificate has been lost or the original lair holder has passed away, it is important that you contact Landscape Services in order to ensure our records are kept up to date.

At this point we shall also be able to inform you about the future interment capacity of the lair. Tracing historic lairs can be difficult, so it is helpful if you can provide us with as much information as possible regarding the original lair holder. Details including their name, address and the date the lair was purchased, as well as the names and dates of any other person(s) buried within the lair are all useful.

Obtaining Duplicate Lair Certificate or Transferring Lair Entitlement to another Family Member

Once the lair reference has been located, we would recommend that a new copy of the Lair Certificate be obtained, at this time it may also be necessary to transfer the ownership of the lair into the name of another family member. This process is straightforward and the necessary application forms can be obtained from the Landscape Services or relative Registrars office. A lair search facility is also available from Landscape Services or the relative Registrars Office, there is a fee for this service.

During the Funeral

Upon entering the burial ground the cortege will be the responsibility of the undertaker however, Aberdeenshire Council will be represented on the day by our Landscape Services Operatives who will be clearly identifiable. Our staff will be wearing a black overcoat, they will meet the cortege at the gates and escort to the graveside.

Upon completion of the burial service our operatives will backfill the grave ensuring that the area is turfed over and that any floral tributes are laid upon the grave area.

After the Funeral

Following the burial it is common for the ground to settle within the first fortnight, this process is brought about by soil conditions and whilst it is perfectly natural, we understand that it can be visually upsetting and may cause distress to any family members visiting the grave.

For this reason we do try to be as vigilant as possible in inspecting all recent lairs for settlement and reinstating them as soon as possible.

Floral tributes are removed from lairs no sooner than 21 days after the interment. If you wish to keep cards or floral tributes please ensure you remove them within this period.