There are all kinds of families and relationships these days, from traditional families to Common Law marriages, same sex couples and separate but legally married couples. Every family has to deal with the legalities of death after someone passes, but oftentimes non-traditional relationships require extra steps when it comes to cremation services in West Jordan, UT.
Keep reading to learn more about non-traditional relationships and cremation services:
- Common Law Marriages – There are three criteria that have to be met in order to couples to be considered legally married under general Common Law. If you are married under Common Law, it’s important to know that it might be tricky for a cremation service to validate a Common Law Marriage after one of the people passes away. Unless a Declaration of Informal Marriage has been filed by a county clerk, many cremation services will ask a different next of kin person to sign the necessary cremation documents as there are penalties involved in allowing a non-documented marriage to serve as legal standing to be a next of kin. To avoid any concerns or issues after a death, Common Law couples should file with the county clerk before a death.
- Same Sex Couples – Thanks to modern legislation, legally married same-sex couples have the exact same rights and next-of-kin spouse status as heterosexual couples. However, the this is only the case if the couple is legally married at the time of death. Without proof of a legal marriage, the cremation service will have to look to a different member of the family to take on final disposition responsibilities and decisions.
- Separated While Still Legally Married – Marriage is a complicated relationship, and oftentimes married couples are separated but not legally divorced. In this scenario, the spouse would be still be responsible for making all necessary funeral or cremation arrangements and paying for them. Unless there is a clear legal proof of divorce, the marriage is still valid, and the spouse is the next of kin. This is more common than you might think and is a confusing situation that causes a lot of delays in making cremation plans.
Luckily, many states have a process in place for getting around difficulties with next of kin relationships. There is a form that people can fill out, sign and file to give a specific person the responsibility of all death-related decisions. This form, the Appointment For Disposition of Remains form, allows you to choose who you want to make your cremation arrangements, and is valid at the vast majority of licensed funeral homes and cremation providers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this document must be filed before death occurs in order to be valid.
Do you have more questions about the legalities of next of kin relationships? You can always reach out to a lawyer for more information, or get in touch with Utah Simple Cremations. We have years of experience with West Jordan, UT cremation services, and can offer more guidance. Visit us at 4377 S State St Murray, UT 84107, or give us a call at (801) 910-5317.