Exhumation in Singapore: everything you need to know

Exhumation in Singapore: everything you need to know

Exhumation in Singapore

By now, you may already be aware that due to land scarcity in Singapore, the burial period for all graves is limited to 15 years. After which, the graves will have to be exhumed. Because of this, more people are choosing to have their loved ones cremated. Nevertheless, there are still some who opt for land burial due to personal or religious beliefs. How then is exhumation carried out when the time is up? Let’s dig right into the topic!

What is exhumation?

Exhumation simply means the removal of a body from the ground after it has been buried. Here in Singapore, the exhumed remains will be cremated and stored in columbarium niches or returned to the family for keepsake. But if burial is required by the deceased’s religion, the exhumed remains will be re-buried in smaller individual plots. For foreigners buried in Singapore*, it’s also possible to have their remains sent back to their home country. Whatever the case, it’s advisable to engage a funeral home that is experienced in exhumation for a smooth relocation.

Exhumation in Singapore

For those whose religions do not allow for cremation, their exhumed remains will be transferred to smaller land plots for re-burials.

Steps involved in exhumation

If your loved one’s grave is slated for exhumation, you may first want to decide on an auspicious or convenient date for it to be carried out. At Direct Funeral Services, our exhumation service starts with a prayer ceremony performed by a monk, priest, or pastor, depending on the deceased’s religion. The remains are then disinterred and thoroughly cleaned. Another prayer ceremony is conducted before the cremated ashes are placed into an urn and transported to its final resting site. Similarly for the less common option of re-burial, a second round of prayer is conducted during the process.

Exhumation in Singapore

The Direct team is trained to handle exhumed remains with unparalleled care.

The same level of attention can be expected from us when it comes to remains exportation, where each bone is meticulously washed in rice wine and water to remove as much debris as possible. Next, the remains are tapped dry before being placed into the family’s preferred casket and sealed and certified by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

How you can prepare for the exhumation

The good news is that there’s not much you need to worry about if you have chosen a reliable funeral home to work with. For cremation after exhumation, all you have to do is pick the urn to store your loved one’s cremated remains in and select a niche at a private or government-managed columbarium. If it’s a re-burial, you’ll need to decide on two things: the casket for the exhumed remains and the new burial location. Finally, bring along your loved one’s favourite food and drinks on the exhumation day itself, and our team will take care of the rest.

Do you have any questions regarding exhumation of your loved one’s remains in Singapore? Drop us an email at info@directfuneral.com.sg and we’ll try our very best to help!

*Foreigners are allowed to be buried in Singapore only if they have immediate next-of-kin (i.e. parents, spouse, and children) who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents. Prior written permission must be obtained from the NEA.