Establishing Legal Next of Kin

Establishing Legal Next of Kin
Next of Kin has the legal authority to make decisions in Texas regarding disposition (burial or cremation) after death. So what establishes who the next of kin is? Keep reading to find out!

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Next of Kin has the legal authority to make decisions in Texas regarding disposition (burial or cremation) after death. So what establishes who the next of kin is? Keep reading to find out!

In the United States, it flows as follows: A surviving spouse, adult children, parents, then siblings. Common law is often not recognized, and in this instance it would be imperative to have an Appointment of Agent form on file with your family/healthcare provider, to allow an elected person other than the one designated by law, to make your final decisions.

The power of attorney ceases when the person in question dies. The only form akin to that one is the DPOAH, known as the Durable power of attorney for healthcare. It would be imperative that something is in writing to ensure the person you elect will be able to carry out your wishes to your specifications or desires.

If there are multiple next of kin, like children, for example, one person will generally act as the primary point of contact with the funeral establishment, but it is important to know the signatures of the majority will be needed to authorize cremation as it is still an irreversible process.

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