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Only married people are able to grant you a funeral grant.


IStock / City Presse

In France, every citizen has the right to be buried in a cemetery.

To do this, he must buy a funeral concession, in other words a site intended to receive his body.

Where to establish his last home?

To speak of acquisition is a misnomer.

Cemeteries are in fact the property of the municipalities.

Therefore, it is not a question of buying a piece of the land but simply its use, in order to build a vault or a tomb.

And this right is limited to compliance with certain criteria.

Each municipality reserves its cemeteries as a priority for its inhabitants, or at least for those registered on its electoral list, in the event that they reside abroad.

Even if you are not domiciled in the municipality, you still have the right to be buried there if you benefit from a family concession.

This is the case for parents or grandparents who bought a cellar for several generations.

Finally, any person who has died in a territory can be buried there, regardless of their city of residence.

Apart from these cases, the town hall is free to refuse you the granting of a concession because of a lack of space or its management policy.

A limited-time grave?

To save a difficult task for their heirs, but also to ensure that their wishes are respected, many people buy a funeral grant during their lifetime.

In view of the variable prices and waiting times in some municipalities, this is a wise precaution.

At the time of choice, several possibilities are available to you.

The first thing is to know if you want to receive your only bones or rest with your loved ones.

You can in fact buy an individual concession, reserved for your sole use;

collective, by specifically designating in the document the people who can rest there;

or family, if it is intended for yourself and your siblings without distinction.

This right of use is also only granted for a certain period.

The so-called temporary concession lasts between five and fifteen years.

Otherwise, you can opt for a 30-year or 50-year concession.

Upon expiry, the contract will have to be renewed or an exhumation carried out.

Only the perpetual grant grants you a truly eternal rest in this place.

But, due to lack of space, not all municipalities offer one.

At what cost to expect?

To buy a funeral grant, you must contact the municipality concerned.

It will tell you the procedure to follow and the supporting documents to provide.

This is an opportunity to learn about the internal regulations of cemeteries, which can in particular limit the choice of the type of ornaments and tombstone and, of course, the cost of such an operation.

From one city to another, and even from one cemetery to another, the prices can vary from a few hundred euros to several thousand.

According to the French Funeral Information Association (Afif), in 2018, for example, it was necessary to pay more than 15,000 euros to afford an individual perpetual concession in intramural Paris, against more than 4,000 euros for fifty years, nearly 2,800 euros for thirty years and a little over 800 euros for ten years.

Conversely, prices fluctuate between 40 euros for ten years and a little over 2,000 euros for a perpetual concession in Lille, while they are around 500 euros for fifteen years and 7,000 euros for an unlimited period in Lyon.

Note that at the purchase cost, it will then be necessary to add that of the obligatory maintenance of the burial place.


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The retrocession

If any sale is prohibited, the legislation allows for the disposal of a funeral grant.

As soon as a body rests in this tomb, the holder of the contract has only the right to transmit its use free of charge to a member of his family, by a living donation or a bequest in his will.

In the event of a move or a change in the choice of funeral, it is also possible to return the concession to the municipality, provided that this concession is empty, which may involve carrying out an exhumation.

When the town hall accepts this retrocession, it must reimburse you the price paid in proportion to the time remaining to run or according to an amount decided by the municipal council for a perpetual concession.

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