Legalities of Cremation
Although your selection of cremation is quite simple, the legality of who signs the actual State of Connecticut cremation permit can be a bit complicated. We’d like to provide you with the following information that will help you avoid any challenging situations that may arise.
1. If your spouse has died, you the widow are the only one who is authorized to sign the cremation order.
2. If your parent has died and was legally divorced, although you might be the oldest child making the arrangements, it doesn’t negate the fact that the remaining living siblings (if any) have equal rights to your loved one’s remains - therefore, they all must sign the cremation permit as well. There are methods used to obtain signatures in the event individuals are out of state or the country.
Why is this necessary? One child might object to the cremation process and if he or she is not involved in the arrangements, you may be subjected to law suits filed by that individual. This requirement protects you and the funeral home from any liability.
If the family doesn’t come to a consensus on a unanimous agreement, you will be asked to approach your local probate judge to rectify the situation. All the meantime, please understand that process seizes and your loved one remains in our care until resolved.
3. If the decedent was never married, no children, the surviving parent(s) must sign the cremation order. If the parents are deceased, then the remaining living siblings must sign the cremation order. If the decedent is predeceased by the parents and all siblings, then uncles, aunts, cousins (in order) would be responsible for the signature of cremation.
4. If you have no family left at the time of death, your remains will be transported to us and a multitude of legal steps are taken. These steps are to legally take custody and control of the decedent and to follow strict state laws that are in place. The cremation process follows with the use of state funds. The cremated remains are held in our possession for 60 days by law and may be disposed of. However, we elected to take another route and store the ashes in a secured vault, in the event a family member surfaces. In this situation, the family may take possession of the cremated remains.
To avoid the potential headaches of worrying who will survive you at the time of death to sign your cremation order, you have the ability to sign your own cremation order and have it filed in our office until your death. You may contact us anytime for the appropriate forms to be filled out and we will mail them to you!
If you have further questions about the cremation permit process, please feel free to call us at 203-359-9999. We’d be happy to explain further.