State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-210_124

§ 90‑210.124. Authorizing agent.

(a)        The followingperson, in the priority list below, shall have the right to serve as an"authorizing agent":

(1)        An individual atleast 18 years of age may authorize the type, place, and method of dispositionof the individual's own dead body by methods in the following order:

a.         Pursuant to apreneed funeral contract executed pursuant to Article 13D of Chapter 90 of theGeneral Statutes or pursuant to a cremation authorization form executedpursuant to Article 13C of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes.

b.         Pursuant to a healthcare power of attorney to the extent provided in Article 3 of Chapter 32A ofthe General Statutes.

c.         Pursuant to awritten will.

d.         Pursuant to awritten statement other than a will signed by the individual and witnessed bytwo persons who are at least 18 years old.

When an individual hasauthorized his or her own cremation and disposition in accordance with thissubsection, the individual or institution designated by that individual shallact as the authorizing agent for that individual.

(2)        If a decedent hasleft no written authorization for the cremation and disposition of thedecedent's body as permitted under subdivision (1) of this subsection, thefollowing competent persons in the order listed may authorize the type, method,place, cremation, and disposition of the decedent's body:

a.         The survivingspouse.

b.         A majority of thesurviving children who are at least 18 years of age and can be located afterreasonable efforts.

c.         The surviving parents.

d.         A majority of thesurviving siblings who are at least 18 years of age and can be located afterreasonable efforts.

e.         A majority of thepersons in the classes of the next degrees of kinship, in descending order,who, under State law, would inherit the decedent's estate if the decedent diedintestate who are at least 18 years of age and can be located after reasonableefforts.

f.          A person who hasexhibited special care and concern for the decedent and is willing and able tomake decisions about the cremation and disposition.

g.         In the case ofindigents or any other individuals whose final disposition is theresponsibility of the State or any of its instrumentalities, a publicadministrator, medical examiner, coroner, State‑appointed guardian, orany other public official charged with arranging the final disposition of thedecedent may serve as the authorizing agent.

h.         In the case ofindividuals who have donated their bodies to science or whose death occurred ina nursing home or private institution and in which the institution is chargedwith making arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent, arepresentative of such institution may serve as the authorizing agent in theabsence of any of the above.

i.          In the absence ofany of the above, any person willing to assume responsibility as authorizingagent, as specified in this act.

This subsection does not grantto any person the right to cancel a preneed funeral contract executed pursuantto Article 13D of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes or to cause or prohibitthe substitution of a preneed licensee as authorized under G.S. 90‑210.63or permit modification of preneed contracts under G.S. 90‑210.63A. If aperson under this subsection is incompetent at the time of the decedent'sdeath, the person shall be treated as if he or she predeceased the decedent. Anattending physician may certify the incompetence of a person and thecertification shall apply to the rights under this subsection only. Any personunder this subsection may waive his or her rights under this subsection by anywritten statement notarized by a notary public or signed by two witnesses.

(b)        A person who doesnot exercise his or her right to dispose of the decedent's body undersubdivision (a)(2) of this section within five days of notification or 10 daysfrom date of death, whichever is earlier, shall be deemed to have waived his orher right to authorize disposition of the decedent's body or to contestdisposition in accordance with this section.

(c)        An individual atleast 18 years of age may, in a writing signed by the individual, authorize thecremation and disposition of one or more of the individual's body parts thathas been or will be removed. If the individual does not authorize the cremationand disposition, a person listed in subdivision (a)(2) of this section mayauthorize the cremation and disposition as if the individual were deceased.

(d)        This section doesnot apply to the disposition of dead human bodies as anatomical gifts underPart 3A of Article 16 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes or the right toperform autopsies under Part 2 of Article 16 of Chapter 130A of the GeneralStatutes.  (2003‑420,s. 2; 2007‑531, s. 22; 2008‑153, s. 5.)