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Estate Planning State Laws

State laws may provide additional rights and benefits to individuals coping with cancer. Various laws related to employment, disability insurancehealth insuranceCOVID-19accessing medical recordsestate planning, genetic informationother cancer-related state laws, and immigration are included below. Please note that this information changes frequently, so check back for up-to-date information.

State Laws on Creating a Valid Will

This chart includes the state laws that provide benefits and protections in the areas of estate planning. More information about creating a valid will is included below the chart.

StateWritten/Oral/ StatutoryNumber of Witnesses RequiredNotarization RequiredProbate Process: UPC/Non-UPCHas Statutory Will FormState Allows for Remote Execution of Estate Planning Documents
ALABAMAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://www.abn.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04-02-Fifth-Supplemental-SOE_COVID-19.pdf;
ALASKAWritten2Self-Proving
ARIZONAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://insurance.az.gov/executive-order-2020-26-remote-online-notary-services
ARKANSASWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://governor.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/executiveOrders/EO_20-12.__.pdf
CALIFORNIAWritten/Statutory2Not requiredxhttp://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/CAStatutoryWillForm_ab_1986_bill_20100715_chaptered.pdf
COLORADOWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/rule_making/files/2020/20200330NotaryNoticeTempAdopt.pdf
CONNECTICUTWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-7Q.pdf?la=en
DELAWAREWritten2Self-Proving
*DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAWritten2Not required
FLORIDAWritten2Self-Provingx (effective July 1, 2020)https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h0409er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0409&Session=2019
GEORGIAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://gov.georgia.gov/document/2020-executive-order/04092001/download
HAWAIIWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2003219-ATG_Executive-Order-No.-20-02-distribution-signed.pdf
IDAHOWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://www.nationalnotary.org/file%20library/nna/reference-library/state-law-summaries/idaho.pdf
ILLINOISWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/il-guidance-on-remote-online-notarization-2020
INDIANAWritten/Oral (I.C. 29-1-5-4)2Not requiredxhttps://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-other-2020-20S-ms-236.pdf
IOWAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://governor.iowa.gov/press-release/gov-reynolds-signs-new-proclamation-continuing-state-public-health-emergency
KANSASWritten/Oral (K.S.A. 59-608)2Self-Provingxhttps://governor.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/EO-20-20-Executed.pdf
KENTUCKYWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20RS/sb150.html
LOUISIANAWritten2Required in addition to witnesses
MAINEWritten/Statutory2Self-Provingxhttp://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/18-C/title18-Csec2-517.pdfxhttps://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/sites/maine.gov.governor.mills/files/inline-files/EO37.pdf
MARYLANDWritten2Not requiredxhttps://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Remote-Notarizations-3.30.20.pdf
MASSACHUSETTSWritten2Self-Proving
MICHIGANWritten/Statutory2Self-Provingxhttp://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(cdhuhhkfgz0ngz2tn4yfjsjk))/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-700-2519.pdfxhttps://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-525178--,00.html
MINNESOTAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://www.sos.state.mn.us/notary-apostille/notary-help/remote-online-notarization-authorization-faq/
MISSISSIPPIWritten/Oral2Self-Provingxhttps://www.sos.ms.gov/content/executiveorders/ExecutiveOrders/1467.pdf
MISSOURIWritten/Oral2Self-Provingxhttps://www.sos.mo.gov/library/reference/orders/2020/eo8
MONTANAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://leg.mt.gov/bills/2019/billhtml/HB0370.htm
NEBRASKAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://sos.nebraska.gov/sites/sos.nebraska.gov/files/doc/OnlineNotary_EmergencyRule_Regulations_Chapter%209.pdf
NEVADAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-133.html#NRS133
NEW HAMPSHIREWritten/Oral (only for soldiers; N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 551:15)2Self-Provingxhttps://www.governor.nh.gov/news-media/emergency-orders/documents/emergency-order-11.pdf
NEW JERSEYWritten2Self-Proving
NEW MEXICOWritten/Statutory2Self-Provingxhttps://willforms.org/wp-content/uploads/New-Mexico-Last-Will-and-Testament-Form.pdfxhttps://www.governor.state.nm.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Executive-Order-2020-015.pdf
NEW YORKWritten/Oral (limited to military NY CLS EPTL § 3-2.2)2Self-Provingxhttps://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2027-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
NORTH CAROLINAWritten/Oral (limited N.C.G.S. § 31-3.4)2Self-Provingxhttps://www.sosnc.gov/imaging/dime/webportal/55573846.pdf
NORTH DAKOTAWritten2Self-Provingxhttps://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t44c06-1.pdf#nameddest=44-06p1-13p1
OHIOWritten/Oral (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2107.60)2Not requiredxhttp://codes.ohio.gov/orc/147
OKLAHOMAWritten/Oral (limited to military Okla. Stat. tit. 84 § 84-46)2Self-Provingxhttps://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/ok-senate-bill-915
OREGONWritten2Self-Proving
PENNSYLVANIAWritten2Self-provingxhttps://www.dos.pa.gov/Documents/2020-04-02-Remote-Notarization.pdf
*PUERTO RICO
RHODE ISLANDWritten2Self-provingxhttps://www.sos.ri.gov/divisions/notary-public/remote-online-notarization
SOUTH CAROLINAWritten2Self-proving
SOUTH DAKOTAWritten2Self-provingxhttps://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/news/law-updates/sd-house-bill-1272
TENNESSEEWritten/Oral (Tenn. Code Ann. § 32-1-106)2Self-proving (for wills executed prior to July 1, 2016, see Tenn. Code. Ann. § 32-1-104(b))xhttps://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee26.pdf
TEXASWritten/Oral (only if made before September 1, 2007)2Self-provingxhttps://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-temporarily-suspends-certain-statutes-to-allow-for-appearance-before-notary-public-via-videoconference
UTAHWritten2Self-provingxhttps://notary.utah.gov/2019/10/22/remote-notary-law/
VERMONTWritten/Oral (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 14 § 1-6)2Not requiredxhttps://sos.vermont.gov/media/mixppvcq/emergency-rules-remote-notary-final-2020-0324.pdf
VIRGINIAWritten2Self-provingxhttps://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title19.2/chapter1/section19.2-3.1/
WASHINGTONWritten/Oral (limited to military. Wash. Rev. Code § 11 12-025)2Self-provingxhttps://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/20-27%20-%20COVID-19%20Notary%20%28tmp%29.pdf
WEST VIRGINIAWritten2Self-provingxhttps://apps.sos.wv.gov/adlaw/executivejournal/readpdf.aspx?DocID=89564
WISCONSINWritten/Statutory2Self-provingxhttps://law.marquette.edu/assets/community/pdf/mvlc_bb_handout5.pdfhttps://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/Pages/General-Article.aspx?ArticleID=27577
WYOMINGWritten2Self-provingxhttps://soswy.state.wy.us/Services/Docs/Guidance-on-Temporary-Remote-Online-Notarization.pdf
GUAM

 How to Create A Valid Will

A will is a legal document that provides instructions for what an individual would like to have happen to their property upon death. A will is also a place where parents can name a guardian for any minor children or adult children with developmental disabilities. Each state has different rules about how to create a valid will, the chart below outlines various state rules.  There are different types of wills:

  1. Written: Most states require that:
    1. Your will be in writing;
    2. You be of “sound mind;”(“Sound mind” generally means that you have an understanding of what you are doing.)
    3. You sign the will; and
    4. It be witnessed by an “uninterested party.” Some states may require two witnesses, that the witnesses are present when you sign the will, or that the will be notarized. A state either requires a will to be notarized, doesn’t require a will to be notarized, or if you do notarize a will it will be self-proving. A self-proving will means that if it is notarized, the probate court will accept it as the true will of the person who has died.  An “uninterested party” generally means someone who is not getting anything in the will.
  2. Statutory: Some states (California, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, and Wisconsin) have a statutory will form, which can be filled in with the details of your estate plan and your wishes. Will forms are free and you don’t have to hire an attorney. But, they can’t be customized, so they are better for simpler estates.
  3. Oral: Generally, oral wills are only allowed in very limited and unusual circumstances (e.g., statements made on one’s deathbed).

There are several do-it-yourself will options, if you have a relatively simple estate, or cannot afford an attorney. There are online services, books, and computer software that can cost anywhere between $35-$200. You may also want to consider hiring an estate planning attorney, especially if you have a complicated estate. When an attorney helps you create a will, you will typically be charged a flat fee or an hourly rate. How much it will cost depends on factors such as the size of your estate or how complicated your wishes are. There are legal aid organizations that provide free or low-cost legal services for people with low and moderate income levels. Visit http://TriageCancer.org/Resources/StateResources, for legal resources in your state.

Probate

When someone dies (the decedent), the estate must be probated. Probate is the process through which a court supervises the gathering and distribution of the decedent’s property. Each state has a slightly different probate process; however, they generally fall into two categories: Uniform Probate Code (UPC) and non-UPC.

The main benefit of the UPC is a transition from mandatory court proceedings for probate to less formal, paper-driven processes.

If someone has a will, the estate must first pay the decedent’s debts and funeral and estate administration expenses then any remaining property is distributed according to the terms of the individual’s will. Executor named in the will distributes property.  The executor must be approved by the probate court before the executor has authority to handle the affairs of the estate and property distribution.

Consequences for Not Having A Will

If someone dies without a will their property will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy statute.  The intestacy statute is a ranking system of family members who inherit from the decedent’s estate. Each state has a different set of rules with respect to intestacy. Once the estate has paid all of the decedent’s debts, funeral, and estate administration expenses, then the probate court follows the state’s intestacy statute to determine how the property should be distributed. In doing so, the court hopes at least to come close to what the average deceased person wants.

Intestacy laws vary greatly from state to state. Typically, there is a ranking system where the decedent’s surviving spouse and/or children have priority over any other surviving relatives.

State Laws on Funeral Decisions

This chart includes information about state laws related to picking an individual to make funeral related decisions for you or to document your own funeral preferences.

StateFuneral Designation StatuteRelevant TextStates with Funeral Designation FormNotes
AlabamaAla. Code § 34-13-11 (1975).https://www.fsb.alabama.gov/pdfs/2018/StatutesRegulations.pdf"A person, who is at least 18 years of age and of sound mind, may enter into a contract to act as authorizing agent and direct the location, manner, and conditions of disposition of remains and arrange for funeral goods and services* to be provided upon death."*2021 amendment changes this to "funeral and cemetery goods and services."Authorizing Agent Affidavithttps://www.fsb.alabama.gov/pdfs/2021/AUTHORIZING.AGENT.AFFIDAVIT.pdf
AlaskaAlaska Stat. § 13.75.010 (2013).https://www.akleg.gov/basis/statutes.asp#13.75"A person may provide directions for the disposition of the person's remains by placing the directions in a disposition document. The directions may include or be limited to designating an agent to control the disposition of the person's remains."Sample provided by § 13.75.030https://www.akleg.gov/basis/statutes.asp#13.75Directions may be a separate document (such as the form provided) or included in a will or prepaid funeral contract; either option must be notarized.
ArizonaAriz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36-3221 (2009).https://www.azleg.gov/ars/36/03221.htm"A person who is an adult may designate another adult individual or other adult individuals to make health care decisions on that person's behalf or to provide funeral and disposition arrangements in the event of the person's death by executing a written health care power of attorney that meets all of the following requirements:1. Contains language that clearly indicates that the person intends to create a health care power of attorney.2. Except as provided under subsection B of this section, is dated and signed or marked by the person who is the subject of the health care power of attorney.3. Is notarized or is witnessed in writing by at least one adult who affirms that the notary or witness was present when the person dated and signed or marked the health care power of attorney, except as provided under subsection B, and that the person appeared to be of sound mind and free from duress at the time of execution of the health care power of attorney."Sample provided by § 36-3224https://www.azleg.gov/ars/36/03224.htm§ 36-831 provides the order of authority for "the duty of burying the body of or providing other funeral and disposition arrangements." However, it does not include a person designated as allowed by § 36-3221, which explicilty states that no other person's consent is needed for the designated person to make those decisions. Most sources seem to agree that courts will uphold the decedent's written directions in the event of such a conflict.
ArizonaAriz. Rev. Stat. § 32-1365.01 (1998).https://www.azleg.gov/ars/32/01365-01.htm"A. A legally competent adult may prepare a written statement directing the cremation or other lawful disposition of the legally competent adult's own remains pursuant to section 36-831. The written statement may but need not be part of the legally competent adult's will. B. The legally competent adult who is the subject of a document described in subsection A of this section shall sign and date the document. The document shall be notarized or witnessed in writing by at least one adult who affirms that the notary or witness was present when the legally competent adult signed and dated the document and that the legally competent adult appeared to be of sound mind and free from duress at the time of execution of the document. C. A document that conforms to this section authorizes a crematory, cemetery or funeral establishment to carry out the wishes of the legally competent adult who is the subject of the document. It is not necessary for a crematory, cemetery or funeral establishment to obtain the consent or concurrence of any other person when it cremates or otherwise provides for the lawful disposition of a dead human body pursuant to instructions contained in a document that conforms to this section."
ArkansasArkansas Final Disposition Rights Act of 2009, Ark. Code Ann. § 20-17-102 (effective August 16, 2013).https://insurance.arkansas.gov/uploads/pages/20-17-102.pdf"(c) Except as provided under subdivision (b)(2) of this section, an individual of sound mind and eighteen (18) or more years of age may execute at any time a declaration specifying the final disposition of his or her bodily remains at his or her death, provided the disposition is in accordance with existing laws, rules, and practices for disposing of human remains.""(d) (1) The right to control the disposition of the remains of a deceased person, the location, manner, and conditions of disposition, and arrangements for funeral goods and services to be provided vests in the following in the order named if the person is eighteen (18) years of age or older and is of sound mind:. . . (B) Second, a person appointed by the decedent in the decedent's declaration offinal disposition executed before his or her death, in accordance with this section;"
CaliforniaCal. Health & Safety Code § 7100.1 (West, Westlaw through Ch. 145 of 2021 Reg.Sess).https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=HSC§ionNum=7100."A decedent, prior to death, may direct, in writing, the disposition of his or her remains and specify funeral goods and services to be provided. Unless there is a statement to the contrary that is signed and dated by the decedent, the directions may not be altered, changed, or otherwise amended in any material way, except as may be required by law, and shall be faithfully carried out upon his or her death, provided both of the following requirements are met: (1) the directions set forth clearly and completely the final wishes of the decedent in sufficient detail so as to preclude any material ambiguity with regard to the instructions; and, (2) arrangements for payment through trusts, insurance, commitments by others, or any other effective and binding means, have been made, so as to preclude the payment of any funds by the survivor or survivors of the deceased that might otherwise retain the right to control the disposition."Advance Health Care Directive Formhttps://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/consumers/ProbateCodeAdvancedHealthCareDirectiveForm-fillable.pdf
ColoradoColo. Rev. Stat. § 15-19-104 (effective October 1, 2019).https://advance.lexis.com/documentpage/?pdmfid=1000516&crid=d4251e53-d033-4d9f-b341-566b89dcfe7d&nodeid=AAPAAGAABAABAAG&nodepath=/ROOT/AAP/AAPAAG/AAPAAGAAB/AAPAAGAABAAB/AAPAAGAABAABAAG&level=5&haschildren=&populated=false&title=15-19-104.%20Declaration%20of%20disposition%20of%20last%20remains&config=014FJAAyNGJkY2Y4Zi1mNjgyLTRkN2YtYmE4OS03NTYzNzYzOTg0OGEKAFBvZENhdGFsb2d592qv2Kywlf8caKqYROP5&pddocfullpath=/shared/document/statutes-legislation/urn:contentItem:61P5-WS41-DYDC-J3HV-00008-00&ecomp=_g1_9kk&prid=2bc0636c-ed06-41f2-b7e5-eb7813a6fa52"(1) The declarant may specify, in a declaration, any one or more of the following:(a) The disposition to be made of the declarant's last remains;(b) The person appointed to direct the disposition of the declarant's last remains;(c) The ceremonial arrangements to be performed after the declarant's death;(d) The person appointed to direct the ceremonial arrangements after the declarant's death;"§ 15-19-107https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2017-title-15.pdf#page=506
ConnecticutConn. Gen. Stat. § 45a-318(d) (effective July 1, 2018).https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_802b.htm#sec_45a-318"(a)(1) Any person eighteen years of age or older, and of sound mind, may execute in advance of such person's death a written document, subscribed by such person and attested by two witnesses, either: (A) Directing the disposition of such person's body upon the death of such person, which document may also designate an individual to have custody and control of such person's body and to act as agent to carry out such directions; or (B) if there are no directions for disposition, designating an individual to have custody and control of the disposition of such person's body upon the death of such person."Disposition of Remains and Appointment of Agenthttps://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_802b.htm#sec_45a-318
DelawareDel. Code Ann. tit. 12, § 262 (2004).http://delcode.delaware.gov/title12/c002/sc03/index.html#262."The declarant may specify, in a declaration instrument, any 1 or more of the following:(1) The disposition to be made of the declarant’s last remains;(2) Who may direct the disposition of the declarant’s last remains;(3) The ceremonial arrangements to be performed after the declarant’s death;(4) Who may direct the ceremonial arrangement after the declarant’s death; or(5) The rights, limitations, immunities, and other terms of third parties dealing with the declaration instrument."§ 265http://delcode.delaware.gov/title12/c002/sc03/index.html#265.
*District of ColumbiaD.C. Code § 3-413 (2009).https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/sections/3-413.html"(a) Unless other directions have been given by the decedent, the right to control the disposition of the remains of a deceased person, the location and conditions of interment, and arrangements for funeral goods and services shall vest in the following in the order of priority named . . .""(2)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any competent adult may designate an individual who shall be empowered to make decisions concerning the disposition of the human remains of the individual by executing a document in accordance with this section.(B) The document shall include language that clearly communicates the individual’s intent to have the person so designated make decisions regarding the disposition of the individual’s human remains upon death. The document shall become effective upon the death of the individual choosing the representative.(c) A document executed under subsection (b)(1) and (2) of this section shall be dated and signed by the individual delineating the disposition of his or her remains upon death under subsection (b)(1) of this section or designating a representative under subsection (b)(2) of this section.
FloridaFla. Stat. § 497.002 (2005).http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0497/0497.html"(2) Subject to certain interests of society, the Legislature finds that every competent adult has the right to control the decisions relating to her or his own funeral arrangements."Florida law prioritizes the decedent's wishes "when written inter vivos authorizations and directions are provided by the decedent," but does not explicitly authorize them to designate another person.
GeorgiaGa. Code Ann. § 31-21-7 (2012).https://advance.lexis.com/documentpage/?pdmfid=1000516&crid=57396962-b998-42a3-8df8-ac3f7ca311a8&nodeid=ABFABDAACAAH&nodepath=%2FROOT%2FABF%2FABFABD%2FABFABDAAC%2FABFABDAACAAH&level=4&haschildren=&populated=false&title=%C2%A7+31-21-7.+Preneed+contracts+and+revisions%3B+affidavit+on+disposition+of+remains%3B+role+of+probate+court%3B+warrant+as+to+truthfulness%3B+liability+of+funeral+home&config=00JAA1MDBlYzczZi1lYjFlLTQxMTgtYWE3OS02YTgyOGM2NWJlMDYKAFBvZENhdGFsb2feed0oM9qoQOMCSJFX5qkd&pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fstatutes-legislation%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A6338-9N91-JJK6-S4SF-00008-00&ecomp=_g1_kkk&prid=ce81e87f-a8cb-4312-80da-2f82fec2bdcf"(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, the right to control the disposition of the remains of a deceased person; the location, manner, and conditions of disposition; and arrangements for funeral goods and services to be provided vests in the following, in the order named, provided that such person is 18 years of age or older and is of sound mind:(1) The health care agent, as defined in Code Section 31-32-2;"Advance Directive for Health Care (PDF of the form provided by § 31-32-4)https://aging.georgia.gov/document/document/georgia-advance-director-health-care/downloadThe Advance Directive for Healthcare replaced Georgia's Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare laws in 2007. Other forms, including forms from other states, may still be used.
Ga. Code Ann. § 31-32-2 (2007).https://advance.lexis.com/documentpage/?pdmfid=1000516&crid=97985213-5bdc-4c67-b498-07727d20dc3b&nodeid=ABFABOAAD&nodepath=%2FROOT%2FABF%2FABFABO%2FABFABOAAD&level=3&haschildren=&populated=false&title=%C2%A7+31-32-2.+Definitions&config=00JAA1MDBlYzczZi1lYjFlLTQxMTgtYWE3OS02YTgyOGM2NWJlMDYKAFBvZENhdGFsb2feed0oM9qoQOMCSJFX5qkd&pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fstatutes-legislation%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A6338-9NF1-FFFC-B3SV-00008-00&ecomp=_g1_kkk&prid=ce81e87f-a8cb-4312-80da-2f82fec2bdcf"(6) "Health care agent" means a person appointed by a declarant to act for and on behalf of the declarant to make decisions related to consent, refusal, or withdrawal of any type of health care and decisions related to autopsy, anatomical gifts, and final disposition of a declarant's body when a declarant is unable or chooses not to make health care decisions for himself or herself. The term "health care agent" shall include any back-up or successor agent appointed by the declarant."
*Guam10 GCA § 4A102http://www.guamcourts.org/CompilerofLaws/GCA/10gca/10gc004a.PDF(g) Any person may designate an individual to be his or her closest next-of-kin, regardless of blood or marital relationship, by means of a written instrument that is signed, dated, and verified. Such designation of right of sepulcher shall be witnessed by two (2) persons, and shall contain the names and last known address of each person entitled to be next-of-kin but for the execution of the designation of right of sepulcher and who are higher in priority than the person so designated.
HawaiiHaw. Rev. Stat. § 531B-4 (2013).https://law.justia.com/codes/hawaii/2016/title-29/chapter-531b/section-531b-4/"A person who wishes to authorize another person to control the disposition of remains and the arrangements for funeral goods and services may execute a written instrument before a notary public."§ 531B-5 (PDF provided by the University of Hawai'i)https://www.hawaii.edu/uhelp/online-forms/form_Written-Instrument-to-Control-Disposition-of-Remains.pdf
IdahoIdaho Code § 54-1142 (2015).https://legislature.idaho.gov/statutesrules/idstat/title54/t54ch11/sect54-1142/#:~:text=54%2D1142.,in%20a%20prearranged%20funeral%20plan."(1) If the decedent has not made a prearranged funeral plan as set forth in section 54-1139, Idaho Code, or to the extent any provisions relating to the disposition of the person’s remains are not clearly covered in a prearranged funeral plan, the right to control the disposition of the remains of a deceased person or to determine provisions not clearly covered in a prearranged funeral plan vests in, and devolves upon the following in the order named:. . .(b) The person designated as agent under a durable power of attorney for health care executed by the decedent, unless such durable power of attorney for health care contains express and clear language denying such right;(c) The person designated in a durable power of attorney executed by the decedent, if such power of attorney contains express and clear language granting such right to the agent named in such power of attorney . . ."Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Carehttps://sos.idaho.gov/hcdr/LivingWill_DurablePowerOfAttorney.pdf
IllinoisDisposition of Remains Act, 755 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/40 (2016).https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2737&ChapterID=60"A person may provide written directions for the disposition or designate an agent to direct the disposition, including cremation, of the person's remains in a will, a prepaid funeral or burial contract, a power of attorney that satisfies the provisions of Article IV-Powers of Attorney for Health Care of the Illinois Power of Attorney Act and contains a power to direct the disposition of remains, a cremation authorization form that complies with the Crematory Regulation Act, or in a written instrument that satisfies the provisions of Sections 10 and 15 and that is signed by the person and notarized."755 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/10 (2015).https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2737&ChapterID=60
IndianaInd. Code § 29-2-19-8 (2009).http://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2021/ic/titles/029#29-2-19-8"Sec. 8. (a) A person who is of sound mind and is at least eighteen (18) years of age may execute a funeral planning declaration substantially in the form set forth in section 13 of this chapter. A declaration may not be included in a will, a power of attorney, or a similar document.""Sec. 9. A declaration may specify the declarant's preferences concerning any of the following:(1) The disposition of the declarant's remains after the declarant's death.(2) Who may direct the disposition of the declarant's remains.(3) Who may provide funeral services after the declarant's death.(4) The ceremonial arrangements to be performed after the declarant's death.(5) The merchandise that the declarant prefers for the disposition of the declarant's remains and any ceremonial arrangements.(6) Who may direct the ceremonial arrangements to be performed after the declarant's death.(7) A grave memorial."§ 29-2-19-13http://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2021/ic/titles/029#29-2-19-13Indiana residents can also designate a health care power of attorney to oversee their funeral arrangements; however, if a different person has been named in a funeral planning declaration, that person will have precedence over the power of attorney.Funeral declaration requirements:"Sec. 8. (b) A declaration must meet the following conditions:(1) Be voluntary.(2) Be in writing.(3) Direct an individual to serve as the declarant's designee.(4) Be signed by the person making the declaration or by another person in the declarant's presence and at the direction of the declarant.(5) Be dated.(6) Be signed in the presence of at least two (2) competent witnesses who are at least eighteen (18) years of age.(c) The following may not be a witness to a declaration under subsection (b)(6):(1) The person who signed the declaration on behalf of and at the direction of the declarant.(2) A parent, spouse, or child of the declarant.(3) An individual who is entitled to any part of the declarant's estate whether the declarant dies testate or intestate, including an individual who could take from the declarant's estate if the declarant's will is declared invalid."
IowaFinal Disposition Act, Iowa Code § 144C (2008).https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/144C.pdf144C.5"1. The right to control final disposition of a decedent’s remains or to make arrangements for the ceremony after a decedent’s death vests in and devolves upon the following persons who are competent adults at the time of the decedent’s death, in the following order:a. A designee, or alternate designee, acting pursuant to the decedent’s declaration."Sample provided by § 144C.6https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/144C.pdfThis form can only be used to designate an agent; funeral and disposition instructions must be included in a separate document.
KansasKan. Stat. Ann. § 65-1734 (2011).https://www.ksrevisor.org/statutes/chapters/ch65/065_017_0034.html"(a) The following persons, in order of priority stated, may order any lawful manner of final disposition of a decedent's remains including burial, cremation, entombment or anatomical donation:(1) The agent for health care decisions established by a durable power of attorney for health care decisions pursuant to K.S.A. 58-625 et seq., and amendments thereto, if such power of attorney conveys to the agent the authority to make decisions concerning disposition of the decedent's remains;"A durable health care power of attorney can be designated in writing that contains the words "this power of attorney for health care decisions shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal," or "this power of attorney for health care decisions shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal," or "similar words showing the intent of the principal that the authority conferred shall be exercisable notwithstanding the principal's subsequent disability or incapacity." § 58-625
KentuckyKy. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 367.93103 (West 2018).https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/statutes/statute.aspx?id=48287"(3) A declaration shall designate an individual to serve as the designee, or if no designee is designated shall provide instruction concerning funeral services, ceremonies, and the disposition of remains after death."Funeral Planning Declaration Formhttps://kbefd.ky.gov/New%20Forms/Updated%20Funeral%20Planning%20Declaration.pdfThe declaration cannot be included in a will, power of attorney, or similar document.Additional requirements:"(4) A declaration, at a minimum, shall be:(a) Voluntary;(b) In writing;(c) Signed by the declarant or by another person in the declarant's presence and at the direction of the declarant;(d) Dated;(e) Signed in the presence of at least two (2) competent witnesses who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time they sign the declaration; and(f) Acknowledged before a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths."
LouisianaLa. Stat. Ann. § 8:655 (2019).https://legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=106436"A. Except as provided in Subsection F of this Section, unless other specific directions have been given or the designation of a specific person to control disposition has been made by the decedent in the form of a notarial testament or a written and notarized declaration, the following persons, in the priority listed, have the right to control and authorize the interment of a deceased person, as defined in R.S. 8:1:(1) The person designated to control disposition by the decedent in the form of a notarial testament or a written and notarized declaration."
MaineMe. Stat. tit. 22, § 2843-A (2019).http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/22/title22sec2843-A.html"2. The custody and control of the remains of deceased residents of this State, dead bodies or dead human bodies are governed by the following provisions in the following order of priority:A. If the subject has designated another person to have custody and control in a written and signed document, custody and control belong to that designated person;"
MarylandMd. Code Ann., Health Occ. § 7-410 (West 2020).http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Laws/StatuteText?article=gho§ion=7-410&enactments=false"(a)(1) Any individual who is 18 years of age or older may decide the disposition of the individual's own body after the individual's death without the pre-death or post-death consent of another person by:(i) Executing a document that expresses the individual's wishes, including a document designating a person to act as authorizing agent;"Designation requirements:§ 7-410(b) "In order to be valid, any document executed under subsection (a) of this section must be written and signed by the individual in the presence of a witness, who, in turn, shall sign the document in the presence of the individual."
MassachusettsIf the decedent has a pre-need funeral services contract, the terms of that contract must be followed under 239 Mass. Code Regs. 3.09. In the absence of a contract, the funeral establishement "shall give effect first to any wishes of the deceased person regarding the nature of the funeral goods and services to be provided, the manner in which funeral services are to be conducted, and/or the final disposition of the deceased person's remains, which have been expressed in any written document which was signed by the deceased person in the presence of a witness."
MichiganMich. Comp. Laws § 700.3206 (2020).https://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(0yxc3rvlyfsgcmdmit5ar24q))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-700-3206"(1) [A] funeral representative designated under subsection (2), a person with priority under subsections (3) to (5) or a person acting under subsection (6), (7), (8), or (9) is presumed to have the right and power to make decisions about funeral arrangements and the handling, disposition, or disinterment of a decedent's body, including, but not limited to, decisions about cremation, and the right to retrieve from the funeral establishment and possess cremated remains of the decedent immediately after cremation. The handling, disposition, or disinterment of a body must be under the supervision of a person licensed to practice mortuary science in this state.(2) Subject to section 1202,1 and except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subject to the priority in subsection (3), an individual 18 years of age or older who is of sound mind at the time a funeral representative designation is made may designate in writing another individual who is 18 years of age or older and who is of sound mind to have the rights and powers under subsection (1). All of the following apply to a funeral representative designation under this subsection:(a) For purposes of this section and sections 3206a and 3206b,2 an individual who is named in a funeral representative designation to have the rights and powers described in subsection (1) is known as a funeral representative and an individual who makes a funeral representative designation is known as a declarant."Designation of Patient Advocate Formhttps://www.midmichigan.org/app/files/public/755/Designation-of-Patient-Advocate-Form.pdfDesignation requirements:"(b) A funeral representative designation under this subsection must be in writing, dated, and signed voluntarily by the declarant or signed by a notary public on the declarant's behalf under section 33 of the Michigan law on notarial acts, 2003 PA 238, MCL 55.293. A funeral representative designation may be included in the declarant's will, patient advocate designation, or other writing. If a funeral representative designation is contained in an individual's will, the will is not required to be admitted to probate for the funeral representative designation to be valid. A funeral representative designation must be 1 or both of the following:(i) Signed in the presence of and signed by 2 witnesses. A witness under this section may not be the funeral representative or an individual described in subdivision (c)(ii) to (iv). A witness shall not sign the funeral representative designation unless the declarant appears to be of sound mind and under no duress, fraud, or undue influence.(ii) Acknowledged by the declarant before a notary public, who endorses on the funeral representative designation a certificate of the acknowledgment and the true date of taking the acknowledgment."
MinnesotaMinn. Stat. § 149A.80 (2010).https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/149A.80"The right to control the dead human body, including the location and conditions of final disposition, unless other directions have been given by the decedent pursuant to subdivision 1, vests in, and the duty of final disposition of the body devolves upon, the following in the order of priority listed:(1) the person or persons appointed in a dated written instrument signed by the decedent. Written instrument includes, but is not limited to, a health care directive executed under chapter 145C. If there is a dispute involving more than one written instrument, a written instrument that is witnessed or notarized prevails over a written instrument that is not witnessed or notarized. Written instrument does not include a durable or nondurable power of attorney which terminates on the death of the principal pursuant to sections 523.08 and 523.09;"§ 145C.16: Suggested Health Care Directivehttps://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/145C.16§ 145C.05 provides additional details about the provisions that can be included in the advance health care directive.
MississippiMiss. Code. Ann. § 73-11-58 (2021).https://law.justia.com/codes/mississippi/2018/title-73/chapter-11/state-board-of-funeral-service/section-73-11-58/"(1) If a decedent has left no written authorization for the cremation and/or disposition of the decedent’s body as permitted by law, any of the following persons, in the order of priority listed below, may authorize any lawful manner of disposition of the decedent’s body by completion of a written instrument:. . . (g) A person acting as a representative of the decedent under a signed authorization of the decedent."Under the current law, Mississippi residents can designate a representative to manage their funeral arrangements, but that person is prioritized after the decedent's surviving spouse, child, grandchild, parent, and sibling.However, this law is only effective until July 1, 2025:"Sections 73-11-41 through 73-11-73, which create the State Board of Funeral Service and prescribe its duties and powers, shall stand repealed on July 1, 2025." Miss. Code. Ann. § 73-11-33 (2021).
MissouriMo. Rev. Stat. § 194.119 (2015).https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=194.119&bid=9947&hl="2. For purposes of this chapter and chapters 193, 333, and 436, and in all cases relating to the custody, control, and disposition of deceased human remains, including the common law right of sepulcher, where not otherwise defined, the term “next-of-kin” means the following persons in the priority listed if such person is eighteen years of age or older, is mentally competent, and is willing to assume responsibility for the costs of disposition:(1) An attorney in fact designated in a durable power of attorney wherein the deceased specifically granted the right of sepulcher over his or her body to such attorney in fact;"Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Health Care Directive and HIPAA Privacy Authorization Formhttps://health.mo.gov/seniors/resources/pdf/durable-power-of-attorney-health-care-directive-hipaa-privacy-authorization.pdf
MontanaMont. Code Ann. § 37-19-904 (2011).https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0370/chapter_0190/part_0090/section_0040/0370-0190-0090-0040.html"(1) A person who is 18 years of age or older and of sound mind wishing to authorize another person to control the disposition of the person's remains may execute an affidavit or a written instrument before a notary public in substantially the following form:"Provided by statute
NebraskaNeb. Rev. Stat. § 30-2223 (2014).https://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=30-2223"(1) Except as otherwise provided by section 23-1824, a person who is eighteen years of age or older and of sound mind, by testamentary disposition, by entering into a pre-need sale as defined by section 12-1102, or by affidavit as provided in subdivision (2)(a)(ii) of this section, may direct the location, manner, and conditions of disposition of his or her remains and the arrangements for funeral goods and services to be provided upon his or her death."Provided by § 30-2223(2)
NevadaNev. Rev. Stat. § 451.024 (2017).https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-451.html#NRS451Sec024"1. The following persons, in the following order of priority, may order the burial or cremation of human remains of a deceased person:(a) A person designated as the person with authority to order the burial or cremation of the human remains of the decedent in a legally valid document or in an affidavit executed in accordance with subsection 9;"Provided by § 451.024(9)
New HampshireN.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 290:17 (2012).http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXVI/290/290-17.htm"I. If the subject has designated a person to have custody and control in a written and signed document, custody and control belong to that person."
New JerseyN.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:27-22 (West 2019).https://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/Statutes/cemeterylaw.pdf#page=17"a. If a decedent, in a will as defined in N.J.S.3B:1-2, appoints a person to control the funeral and disposition of the human remains, the funeral and disposition shall be in accordance with the instructions of the person so appointed. A person so appointed shall not have to be executor of the will."Designation requirements:"[A] decedent may appoint a person to control the funeral and disposition of the human remains in writing, and if a decedent so appoints a person it shall be in the presence of no less than two witnesses, on a form approved by the board. The written form appointing a person to control the funeral and disposition shall include the signatures of the decedent and witnesses, and shall be notarized."
New MexicoN.M. Stat. Ann. § 45-3-701 (2018).https://nmonesource.com/nmos/nmsa/en/item/4393/index.do#!fragment/zoupio-_Toc75960082/BQCwhgziBcwMYgK4DsDWszIQewE4BUBTADwBdoAvbRABwEtsBaAfX2zgHYBWATgDYADAIAcAJgCUAGmTZShCAEVEhXAE9oAcg2SIhMLgRKV6rTr0GQAZTykAQuoBKAUQAyTgGoBBAHIBhJ5KkYABG0KTs4uJAA"B. Prior to appointment, a person named personal representative in a will may carry out written instructions of the decedent relating to his body, funeral and burial arrangements."
New YorkN.Y. Pub. Health Law § 4201 (McKinney 2012).https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/PBH/4201"2. (a) The following persons in descending priority shall have the right to control the disposition of the remains of such decedent:(i) the person designated in a written instrument executed pursuant to the provisions of this section;"Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remainshttps://www.health.ny.gov/forms/doh-5211.pdf
North CarolinaN.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-420 (2018).https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_130A/GS_130A-420.html"(a) An individual at least 18 years of age may authorize the type, place, and method of disposition of the individual's own dead body by methods in the following order:(1) Pursuant to a preneed funeral contract executed pursuant to Article 13D of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes or pursuant to a cremation authorization form executed pursuant to Article 13C of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes.(2) Pursuant to a health care power of attorney to the extent provided in Article 3 of Chapter 32A of the General Statutes.(3) Pursuant to a written will.(4) Pursuant to a written statement other than a will signed by the individual and witnessed by two persons who are at least 18 years old.""(a1) An individual at least 18 years of age may delegate his or her right to dispose of his or her own dead human body to any person by one of the following methods:(1) Any means authorized in subsection (a) of this section."Health Care Power of Attorney (optional)https://www.sosnc.gov/documents/forms/advance_healthcare_directives/health_care_power_of_attorney.pdfNorth Carolina residents have the option of designating a person to manage their funeral arrangements in a Health Care Power of Attorney.
North DakotaN.D. Cent. Code § 23-06-31 (2019).https://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t23c06.pdf#nameddest=23-06-31"1. A legally competent adult may prepare a written statement directing the cremation or other lawful disposition of that adult's own remains pursuant to section 23-06-03. The written statement must be signed and dated by the legally competent adult and may be part of the legally competent adult's will.2. A document that conforms to this section authorizes a crematorium or funeral establishment to carry out the instructions of the legally competent adult who is the subject of the document. It is not necessary for a crematorium or funeral establishment to obtain the consent or concurrence of any other person when the crematorium or funeral establishment cremates or otherwise provides for the lawful disposition of a body pursuant to instructions contained in a document that conforms to this section."
OhioOhio Rev. Code Ann. § 2108.70 (West 2006).https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-2108.70"(B) An adult who is of sound mind may execute at any time a written declaration assigning to a representative one or more of the following rights:(1) The right to direct the disposition, after death, of the declarant's body or any part of the declarant's body that becomes separated from the body before death. This right includes the right to determine the location, manner, and conditions of the disposition of the declarant's bodily remains.(2) The right to make arrangements and purchase goods and services for the declarant's funeral. This right includes the right to determine the location, manner, and condition of the declarant's funeral.(3) The right to make arrangements and purchase goods and services for the declarant's burial, cremation, or other manner of final disposition. This right includes the right to determine the location, manner, and condition of the declarant's burial, cremation, or other manner of final disposition."§ 2108.72https://codes.ohio.gov/ohio-revised-code/section-2108.72
OklahomaOkla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1158 (2011).https://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=69626"The right to control the disposition of the remains of a deceased person, the location, manner and conditions of disposition, and arrangements for funeral goods and services vests in the following order, provided the person is eighteen (18) years of age or older and of sound mind:1. The decedent, provided the decedent has entered into a pre-need funeral services contract or executed a written document that meets the requirements of the State of Oklahoma;2. A representative appointed by the decedent by means of an executed and witnessed written document meeting the requirements of the State of Oklahoma;""A person may assign the right to direct the manner in which his or her body shall be disposed of after death by executing a sworn affidavit stating the assignment of the right and the name of the person or persons to whom the right has been assigned." § 1151
OregonOr. Rev. Stat. § 97.130 (2021).https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors097.html"(1) Any individual of sound mind who is 18 years of age or older, by completion of a written signed instrument or by preparing or prearranging with any funeral service practitioner licensed under ORS chapter 692, may direct any lawful manner of disposition of the individual’s remains."Appointment of Person to Make Decisions Concerning Disposition of a Current Decedent's Remainshttps://www.oregon.gov/omcb/Documents/Reference/Appointment-to-Direct-At-Need.pdf
Pennsylvania20 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. § 305 (West 2019).https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/20/00.003.005.000..HTM"'Contrary intent.' An explicit and sincere expression, either verbal or written, of a decedent adult or emancipated minor prior to death and not subsequently revoked that a person other than the one authorized by this section determine the final disposition of his remains."A person designated by the decedent's statement of "contrary intent" as defined by § 305 is given precedence to make funeral arrangements. Pennsylvania residents may designate a person to make funeral arrangements in a combined Living Will and Durable Health Care Power of Attorney, provided by § 5471.
*Puerto RicoPuerto Rico does not have a funeral designation law, but does provides the guidelines for donors:"Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older and in full use of his mental faculties may donate his entire body or any part thereof to the persons, institutions, or entities included in §§ 3620-3620y of this title for purposes of clinical autopsies, anatomical research, or to be used to assist in the progress of medical science and annex branches for teaching purposes or for the transplant or rehabilitation of part of tissues of the human body that are sick, damaged, or degenerated. Said donation shall be effective after the death of the donor, except in the case of donation of organs or tissues to be transplanted from one living person to another." P.R. Laws Ann tit. 24, § 3620d (2012).
Rhode IslandFuneral Planning Agent Designation Act, 5 R.I Gen Laws § 33.3-3 (1999).http://webserver.rilegislature.gov/Statutes/TITLE5/5-33.3/5-33.3-3.HTM§ 5-33.3-3"(a) Any individual who is at least eighteen (18) years of age and of sound mind is allowed to designate a primary funeral planning agent and alternate agent, if they wish."Form of Designationhttp://webserver.rilegislature.gov/Statutes/TITLE5/5-33.3/5-33.3-4.HTM
South CarolinaS.C. Code Ann. § 32-8-320 (2012).https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t32c008.php"(A) In the following order of priority these persons may serve as a decedent's agent and in the absence of a preneed cremation authorization may authorize cremation of the decedent:(1) the person designated as agent for this purpose by the decedent in a will or other verified and attested document;"
South DakotaAlthough South Dakota does not have a funeral designation law, S.D. Codified Laws § 34-26-1 allows residents to create a legally binding document with funeral directions:"Every person has the right to direct the manner in which his body or any part thereof shall be disposed of after his death, and to direct the manner in which any part of his body which becomes separated therefrom during his lifetime shall be disposed of."
TennesseeTenn. Code Ann. § 34-6-204https://advance.lexis.com/documentpage/?pdmfid=1000516&crid=e8205de1-8c7c-4e31-8c62-53824f876ed5&nodeid=ABIAAGAACAAE&nodepath=%2FROOT%2FABI%2FABIAAG%2FABIAAGAAC%2FABIAAGAACAAE&level=4&haschildren=&populated=false&title=34-6-204.+Attorney+in+fact+%E2%80%94+Powers+%E2%80%94+Limitations.&config=025054JABlOTJjNmIyNi0wYjI0LTRjZGEtYWE5ZC0zNGFhOWNhMjFlNDgKAFBvZENhdGFsb2cDFQ14bX2GfyBTaI9WcPX5&pddocfullpath=%2Fshared%2Fdocument%2Fstatutes-legislation%2Furn%3AcontentItem%3A4X8J-8VH0-R03K-X0N7-00008-00&ecomp=_g1_kkk&prid=534a99b1-adf8-4574-aa2b-f7b1bc440fc5"(a)(1) Unless the durable power of attorney for health care provides otherwise . . . the attorney in fact designated in the durable power of attorney who is known to the health care provider to be available and willing to make health care decisions has priority over any other person to act for the principal in all matters of health care decisions."Advance Directives and Living Willshttps://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/tenncare/documents/AdvanceDirectivesLivingWill.pdfTennessee does not have a specific funeral designation law, but instructions for funeral arrangements may be included in an advance directive or durable power of attorney for health care.
TexasTex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 711.002 (West 2019).https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.711.htm#711.002"(a) Except as provided by Subsection (l), unless a decedent has left directions in writing for the disposition of the decedent's remains as provided in Subsection (g), the following persons, in the priority listed, have the right to control the disposition, including cremation, of the decedent's remains, shall inter the remains, and in accordance with Subsection (a-1) are liable for the reasonable cost of interment:(1) the person designated in a written instrument signed by the decedent;"Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains (provided by Fort Bend County Libraries)A template is also provided by § 711.002(b).https://www.fortbend.lib.tx.us/media/2238§ 711.002(c) provides the minimum requirements for a "written instrument":"A written instrument is legally sufficient under Subsection (a)(1) if the instrument designates a person to control the disposition of the decedent's remains, the instrument is signed by the decedent, the signature of the decedent is acknowledged, and the agent or successor agent signs the instrument before acting as the decedent's agent."
UtahUtah Code Ann. § 58-9-602 (West 2016).https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title58/Chapter9/58-9-S602.html?v=C58-9-S602_2016051020160510"The right and duty to control the disposition of a deceased person, which may include cremation as well as the location, manner and conditions of the disposition, and arrangements for funeral goods and services to be provided, vests in the following degrees of relationship in the order named, provided the person is at least 18 and is mentally competent:(1) the person designated:(a) in a written instrument, excluding a power of attorney that terminates at death under Section 75-9-110, if the written instrument is acknowledged before a Notary Public or executed with the same formalities required of a will under Section 75-2-502;"§ 75-2-502 provides the requirements for a valid "written instrument":"1) Except as provided in Subsection (2) and in Sections 75-2-503, 75-2-506, and 75-2-513, a will shall be:(a) in writing;(b) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and by the testator's direction; and(c) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after he witnessed either the signing of the will as described in Subsection (1)(b) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will."
VermontVt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 9702 (2005).https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/18/231/09702"a) An adult may do any or all of the following in an advance directive:. . .(16) direct the manner of disposition of the principal's remains and the funeral goods and services to be provided;(17) identify a pre-need contract entered into with a funeral director, crematory, or cemetery; and(18) except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, appoint an individual to make or refuse to make an anatomical gift, and to arrange for the disposition of the principal's remains, including funeral goods and services."Advance Directive for Health Carehttps://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017/01/Health_Professionals_Systems_AD_Long_Form.pdfMinimum advance directive requirements are provided by § 9703.
VermontVt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 5227 (2019).https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/18/107/05227"(a) If there is no written directive of the decedent, in the following order of priority, one or more competent adults shall have the right to determine the disposition of the remains of a decedent, including the location, manner, and conditions of disposition and arrangements for funeral goods and services:(1) an individual appointed to arrange for the disposition of decedent's remains pursuant to chapter 231 (advance directives) of this title;"
VirginiaVa. Code Ann. § 54.1-2825 (2010).https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title54.1/chapter28/section54.1-2825/"A. Any person may designate in a signed and notarized writing, which has been accepted in writing by the person so designated, an individual who shall make arrangements and be otherwise responsible for his funeral and the disposition of his remains, including cremation, interment, entombment, or memorialization, or some combination thereof, upon his death. Such designee shall have priority over all persons otherwise entitled to make such arrangements, provided that a copy of the signed and notarized writing is provided to the funeral service establishment and to the cemetery, if any, no later than 48 hours after the funeral service establishment has received the remains."
WashingtonWash. Rev. Code § 68.50.160(3) (2020).https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=68.50.160"(1) A person has the right to control the disposition of his or her own remains without the predeath or postdeath consent of another person. A valid written document expressing the decedent's wishes regarding the place or method of disposition of his or her remains, signed by the decedent in the presence of a witness, is sufficient legal authorization for the procedures to be accomplished."
West VirginiaW. Va. Code § 16-30-4 (2007).http://www.wvlegislature.gov/wvcode/code.cfm?chap=16&art=30#01"(a) Any competent adult may execute at any time a living will or medical power of attorney. A living will or medical power of attorney made pursuant to this article shall be: (1) In writing; (2) executed by the principal or by another person in the principal’s presence at the principal’s express direction if the principal is physically unable to do so; (3) dated; (4) signed in the presence of two or more witnesses at least eighteen years of age; and (5) signed and attested by such witnesses whose signatures and attestations shall be acknowledged before a notary public as provided in subsection (d) of this section."Combined Medical Power of Attorney and Living Willhttps://peia.wv.gov/FAQ/Documents/COMBINED_MPOA_LIVING_WILL_WV.pdfWest Virginia does not have a specific funeral designation law, but instructions for funeral arrangements may be included in a medical power of attorney.
WisconsinWis. Stat. § 154.30 (2010).https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/154/iv/30?view=section"[A]ny of the following, as prioritized in the following order . . . may control final disposition, including the location, manner, and conditions of final disposition:1. Subject to sub. (8) (e), a representative of the decedent acting under the decedent's authorization for final disposition that conveys to the representative the control of final disposition, or a successor representative;"Authorization for Final Disposition Instructionshttps://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forms/advdirectives/f00086.pdf
WyomingWyo. Stat. Ann. § 2-17-101 (2019).https://wyoleg.gov/statutes/compress/title02.pdf"(a) If a decedent leaves written instructions regarding his entombment, burial or cremation, or a document that designates and authorizes another person to direct disposition of the decedent's body the funeral director or funeral service practitioner to whom the body is entrusted shall proceed with the disposition of the body in accordance with those instructions or the instructions given by the person designated to direct disposition of the decedent's body."