When a loved one passes away, there are many time-sensitive tasks to complete. And in some situations when a death occurs, these duties must be performed while grieving.
If your loved one chooses cremation, one of the most important tasks to complete is filling out a cremation authorization form. However, there are many legal matters and a plethora of information that must be addressed following a loss.
Continue reading to learn more about the steps to take when filling out a cremation authorization form.
Step 1: Determine Who is Authorized
Did you know before arranging a cremation, Ohio law requires you to have proper verification proving you’re legally authorized to make that decision on behalf of your loved one?
Law-abiding funeral homes will provide you with a form that authorizes your loved one’s cremation. To determine if you’re authorized to arrange a cremation, follow this list of priority qualifications:
- A legal representative appointed by the deceased to have the right of disposition (pursuant to the required elements).
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse.
- The sole surviving child of the deceased person, or if there is more than one surviving child, all of the surviving children collectively.
- The deceased person’s surviving parent or parents.
- The deceased person’s surviving sibling, whether of whole or half blood or if there is more than one sibling all of the surviving siblings collectively.
- The deceased person’s surviving grandparent or grandparents.
- The lineal descendants of the deceased’s grandparents.
- The person who was the deceased person’s guardian at the time of death if a guardian had been appointed.
- Any person willing to assume the right of disposition, including the personal representative of the estate or the licensed funeral director with custody of the body, after attesting in writing and good faith that they could not locate any of the persons above in the priority list.
If there is more than one authorized decision-maker, then all of the individuals can be required. Keep in mind, authorized individuals may be located in multiple states and will need to be contacted to sign the form. This can be done by providing photo identification and notarized signature either electronically or via postal mail.
It’s also important to know when a loved one passes away a power of attorney (POA) is no longer in effect. That means the POA may not be qualified to authorize a cremation, but instead, all living family members in the checklist above must authorize a cremation.
Step 2: Gather Required Information
After you’ve determined you are authorized, you’ll need to gather personal information about your loved one and details about their final wishes.
Information you’ll want to know includes:
- Legal name, date, time and location of death, age, date of birth, and social security number.
- The type of container you would like your loved one to be placed in following the cremation process (urn, standard shipping container, keepsake, or memorial).
- The final disposition method (inurnment, return to designated authorizing agent, scattering, or other).
Step 3: Meet with Your Funeral Director
Filling out this form may seem a bit extensive, and meeting with your funeral director can ease the process of completing it. Your funeral director will help fill out the following sections prior to submitting the form:
- Artificial devices
- Personal property
- Multiple cremations
- Final disposition
- Certification and indemnification (*Note that you must have all authorized agents sign here if applicable.)
Once complete, the funeral home will enter all information in its system, print it and file the authorization form with the proper parties.
If a death has occurred in your family or you’d like information about preplanning, contact Busch Funeral and Crematory Services. Our compassionate staff offers the highest level of services, and we’re ready to answer your questions any time day or night. Contact us for more information.