Choosing a type of burial
Burial legislation provides that the deceased person's body must be buried without undue delay. The next of kin must respect the deceased person's beliefs and wishes when arranging a funeral and deciding on the type of burial.
The person responsible for this task should be the person designated by the deceased person while they were still alive. Otherwise funeral arrangements can be made by a spouse, a partner the deceased lived with, an heir or another close person or friend.
Usually, the next of kin will agree on one of them seeing to the arrangements or arrangements can be divided between family members. If family members have differences of opinion and cannot reach an agreement, a district court will make a decision on who will see to the funeral arrangements.
If the deceased person does not have family or friends who could take responsibility of the burial, the responsibility for burial will be transferred to the deceased person's home municipality.
A grave for a coffin can only be established in a cemetery or in a private grave for which a permit must be requested from the Regional State Administrative Agency.
Ashes must be buried, scattered or otherwise situated in one place within one year of cremation. If ashes are buried in a place other than a cemetery, the owner of the crematory must be notified of the place where they are situated.
If you would like to scatter the ashes somewhere else than on your own land, you will need a written permission from the landowner or the owner of the water area.
The majority of cemeteries are maintained by religious societies. Evangelical Lutheran parishes are obligated to designate a burial plot for a deceased person whose home municipality was in the parish. The deceased need not be a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland to be designated a burial plot.
If the deceased did not have a home municipality or lived abroad, a burial plot will be assigned in the parish area where the deceased last lived in Finland.
Parishes have non-denominational burial areas for deceased persons who were not members of the church. The parishes have the right to charge a fee for burial services.