• How to Decipher the Next of Kin After a Family Member Passes

  • After the loss of a loved one, you may have difficult questions, such as who the proper next of kin may be.

    Families can be thrown into turmoil when someone passes away, especially when a person has few living relatives. The next of kin has the legal ability to authorize cremations and other estate and financial arrangements after their passing. The next of kin must make other legal decisions, like registering a loved one’s death. Understanding the steps following the death of a loved one shouldn’t be a struggle if the person who passed has already made their wishes clear with cremation pre planning, but what happens when you have to determine the next of kin among grieving family members?

    What’s the Order of the Next of Kin?

    Although it can vary from state to state, generally, the immediate next of kin is a person’s spouse or an adult child over the age of 18. If a person doesn’t have a spouse or children, it goes down the line to the closest living relatives of the person who has passed in the subsequent order:

    • Parents
    • Siblings
    • Grandparents
    • Aunts and uncles
    • The personal representative of the decedent’s estate, as outlined in their last will and testament
    • A person appointed by the probate court as the personal representative of the estate
    • A public health officer

    What Happens if the Next of Kin Doesn’t Live in the Area?

    Even if a person’s next of kin is not located in the area where they passed away, their next of kin can still fill out and sign all necessary cremation authorization forms and take care of arrangements via phone, email or online. When there is an immediate need for cremation services, you can contact a local crematory to make arrangements no matter where you’re located. This is also common if they need to arrange cremation services for veterans that may have moved to another state.

    How a Crematory can Help

    As stated above, paperwork can be completed or signed online. Once the crematory has the information and authorization they need, they will secure all required permits for cremation services, transport the decedent, and contact the Social Security Administration on behalf of the family. They will also obtain copies of the death certificate for the family. A crematory will provide a container for the remains, which can be shipped so the next of kin can plan a proper memorial service, spread the person’s remains in a special place or keep them close within the family.

    Contact Florida Family Cremations to Learn More about Cremation In Clearwater

    If someone close has passed or you need help understanding who the proper next of kin is for a loved one, our experienced and compassionate team of professionals at Florida Family Cremations can help. To find out more about the services we offer, call us today at 727-223-5911. We offer cremation services in Clearwater, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Manatee.