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What is a Disinterment?

Ohio law permits an individual eighteen (18) years of age or older and of sound mind to request and obtain from the probate court an order to have the remains of a deceased person exhumed and/or moved from one burial place to another.

The decedent must have been buried in Cuyahoga County.

For more information, please review Ohio Revised Code 517.23 and 517.24.

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What procedures are involved in filing at Probate Court?

Applicants must submit to the Clerk’s Office a signed and notarized application, including all other required documentation listed below.

The Court will set a date for a hearing on the application and notify all parties who did not waive notice or who did not consent.  Additionally, the Court may require one publication of notice of the hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, at least seven days prior to the date of the hearing.

In certain instances, particularly if an objection to the disinterment has been filed, the Court may require additional hearings on the application.

Within thirty (30) days of the Court issuing the Order to Disinter Remains, the Applicant must assure that the cemetery where the reinterment occurs executes and files with the Court a completed Verification of Reinterment (Form 25.4).

For additional assistance with the filing process, please consult an Ohio licensed attorney. 

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What Documents are needed for a Disinterment filing?

  • Copy of Decedent’s Death Certificate

    Note: If cause of death was due to an infectious disease:
    • Permit from the Board of Health authorizing the disinterment

  • Application For Order To Disinter Remains (Form 25.0)
    (MUST be typed complete with ink signatures, notarized and ink-signed by notary)

  • Form 1.0 – Surviving Spouse, Children, Next of Kin, Legatees and Devisees (Form 1.0)
    (If the Decedent did not have a will, list all persons who would have been entitled to inherit from the Decedent under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2105.06, or if the Decedent had a Will, all legatees and devisees named in that Will.)

  • Notices and Waivers from all parties per Ohio Revised Code Section 517.24 (B)(2)(a) – See details below:

Required Notice of Hearing and Waivers – Per Ohio Revised Code Section 517.24 (B)(2)(a)

Applicants must give notice of the application to disinter to the Decedent's surviving spouse, to all persons entitled to inherit if Decedent died without a Will, to all legatees and devisees named in Decedent's Will, and to the cemetery in which the Decedent's remains are interred.

(Note: Depending on the circumstances, one or more of the documents below may be required.)

  • All parties who are required to be given notice have the option to waive the right to receive notice.
    • Required Attachment – Waiver of Notice Of Application To Disinter Remains (Form 25.5)

  • For parties whose whereabouts are unknown:
    • Required Attachment – Affidavit Of Service Of Notice On Hearing On Application For Disinterment (Form 25.3) – complete with ink signatures and notarized

  • Notification by certified mail, with return receipt requested
    • Required Attachment – Certified Mail Return (‘green’ cards) with a copy of the sent letter (notification)

Within 30 days after receiving the Court’s Order to Disinter Remains:

  • Required Filing – Verification of Reinterment (Form 25.4)

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does a surviving spouse need to file at Probate Court to obtain a disinterment?

No, a surviving spouse does not need an order from Probate Court to obtain disinterment, but must have the consent of the cemetery at which the decedent is interred.

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Can I electronically file (E-File) an application for a Disinterment?

Yes, Applications may be E-Filed using the following guideline. Other useful links are below:

E-File Home Page and Login
E-File Account Registration

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Can I electronically file (E-File) the Verification of Reinterment?

Yes, if the Application to Disinter was originally filed through E-File, the Verification of Reinterment may also be E-Filed provided it is signed by the Applicant either above or below the signature of the cemetery representative (See the Existing Case Filing Guide).

For additional questions about filing for a Disinterment, please consult an Ohio licensed attorney BEFORE you submit filings to the Cuyahoga County Probate Court.

For general questions about the process to file at Probate Court, please contact the Probate Court Clerk’s Office at (216) 443–8785.

If you have any questions about the E-File process, please contact the Probate Court E-File Help Desk at (216) 443-8948.

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