Exhumations are generally rare and tend to be traumatic for the family involved. They can take a long time to arrange and are usually expensive. For these reasons, it is best to consult with all the relatives before proceeding.

Exhumation of both buried and cremated remains generally requires a Home Office Licence.

It is an offence to exhume any human remains without first obtaining the necessary lawful permissions. Additionally, an environmental health officer must be present at the exhumation to ensure that there is no threat to public health. If the person is buried in consecrated grounds, permission from the church must also be obtained. If the conditions of the licence cannot be met, or there are public health or decency concerns, the exhumation may not proceed.

© Wigan Council