Grave Relocation in Singapore

Digging a pit. Pit in the ground. The shovel, pickaxe and crowba

Grave relocation, also known as exhumation, is the process of moving human remains from one burial site to another. In Singapore, grave relocation is governed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) and is subject to specific regulations and procedures. The following are the general steps involved in the grave relocation process in Singapore:

  1. Approval from NEA: Before any grave relocation can take place, the applicant must obtain approval from the NEA. The application is typically submitted by the next-of-kin or a representative such as a funeral director.
  2. Selecting of auspicious date: Family members can then choose an auspicious date and time for the exhumation process. They could also engage a Feng Shui master to assist them in selecting the auspicious date as well.
  3. Engage a licensed exhumation contractor: Once the approval is granted by NEA, the next step is to engage a licensed exhumation contractor. Only licensed contractors are authorized to carry out exhumations in Singapore. Our funeral directors would assist with the contract.
  4. Prayers before groundbreaking: Before the exhuming commence, the family may choose to invite a priest or monk to conduct a prayer session. 
  5. Exhumation process: The licensed contractor will begin the physical process of exhuming the remains. This typically involves carefully excavating the grave and handling the remains with utmost respect and sensitivity. The contractor must adhere to strict guidelines to maintain the dignity and sanctity of the deceased. Family members are encouraged to be present on site to witness the exhumation process and could choose to document the process down.
  6. Reburial or cremation: After the exhumation, the remains are transferred to the designated new burial site or crematorium based on the wishes of the deceased’s family or religious beliefs. Our staff will assist the family with procedures such as the cremation, selection and purchase of urns, etc.
  7. Site restoration: Once the exhumation is completed, the contractor is responsible for restoring the original burial site to its original condition. This involves backfilling the grave and undertaking any necessary landscaping work to ensure the site is reinstated appropriately.
  8. Final Prayer service: Finally, a prayer service will be conducted by the priest or monk for the installation of the urn. This is to ensure that the deceased will have a peaceful rest in their new location.

It’s important to note that the grave relocation process in Singapore may involve additional specific requirements depending on the religious or cultural practices involved. It also differs from families as some might prefer to do sea burial or ash scattering instead. Therefore, it is recommended to consult your funeral director who is handling your case, to ensure compliance with all necessary procedures and customs.