The Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland supervises the burial and cremation of the deceased, the handling of the ashes as well as the establishment, maintenance, management and closing of the cemetery and private graves. The agency provides advice in matters relating to the Funeral Services Act free of charge.
The permission of the Regional State Administrative Agency is required if a buried body or ashes are to be moved to another grave. This is also the case if the body or ashes of the deceased are buried in a private burial place. If a gravestone or other visible signs of a grave are placed at the burial place, it is a private burial place. Handling fees in accordance with the service fee are charged for permits (approvals and refusals).
The religious views and wishes of the deceased should be respected in the burial and cremation of the deceased's body as well as the handling of the ashes. Similarly, the feelings of the deceased's loved ones and people's understanding of how deceased persons should be regarded must be taken into consideration.
Moving a buried deceased person
The buried body or ashes of a deceased person may be moved to another grave only for particularly weighty reasons with the permission of the Regional State Administrative Agency.
The agency always exercises case-by-case discretion in the evaluation of particularly weighty reasons. In matters related to the moving of a buried deceased person, it is best to contact the Regional State Administrative Agency as early as possible and ask for more information on the matter before submitting an application.
Particularly weighty reasons for a move may include, for example, that the deceased, for some reason, could not originally be buried in a place corresponding to the will of the deceased or loved ones. Or if the deceased has resided in Finland as a refugee or an asylum seeker and the conditions in the deceased's home country later change so that moving the deceased to the home country becomes possible. In principle, exceptionally weighty reasons related to health protection or land use may also be considered.
The permission of the health protection authority is also required to move the buried body of a deceased person.
Ashes of a deceased person
The ashes of a deceased person must be buried or otherwise permanently placed in one location within one year of the cremation.
The recipient of the funeral urn must inform the crematorium operator in writing where the ashes will be placed.
If the people responsible for the burial arrangements do not take care of the ashes within one year of the cremation (despite the crematorium's request), the ashes will be placed, at the expense of the deceased's estate, into the cemetery where the deceased has the right to be buried.
The consent of the owner or occupier of the area is always required for the placement of the ashes (burial or scattering on land or water). The consent should be obtained in writing in order to avoid any confusion.
The permission of the Regional State Administrative Agency is not needed to bury the ashes of the deceased if a private burial place is not established. A private burial place is established if a gravestone or other visible signs of a grave are placed at the burial place. In that case, it is necessary to apply for permission to establish a private grave from the Regional State Administrative Agency.