SB 288: "An Act relating to the disposition of human remains."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 288 01 "An Act relating to the disposition of human remains." 02 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 * Section 1. AS 13 is amended by adding a new chapter to read: 04 Chapter 75. Disposition of Human Remains. 05 Sec. 13.75.010. Directions by decedent. (a) A person may provide directions 06 for the disposition of the person's remains by placing the directions in a disposition 07 document. The directions may include or be limited to designating an agent to control 08 the disposition of the person's remains. 09 (b) A disposition document must be signed by the person and acknowledged 10 before a notary public, and contain the form and contents required by AS 13.75.030. A 11 disposition document may be a separate document or it may be contained in another 12 document, including a will or prepaid funeral or burial contract. The disposition 13 document may be modified or revoked only by a subsequent disposition document that 14 complies with this subsection. 15 Sec. 13.75.020. Persons authorized to control disposition. (a) The following
01 persons, in the priority listed, may control disposition of a decedent's remains: 02 (1) a person designated in a disposition document as the disposition 03 agent for the decedent; 04 (2) a person serving, or nominated by the decedent in the decedent's 05 will to serve, as the personal representative of the decedent's estate, if the person is 06 acting according to the decedent's written instructions contained in the decedent's will; 07 (3) the individual who was the spouse of the decedent at the time of the 08 decedent's death; 09 (4) the sole surviving competent adult child of the decedent, or, if there 10 is more than one surviving competent adult child of the decedent, the majority of the 11 surviving competent adult children; fewer than one-half of the surviving competent 12 adult children may exercise the rights and duties of this section if these surviving adult 13 children use reasonable efforts to notify all other surviving competent adult children 14 that they are exercising these rights and duties and are not aware of any opposition by 15 one-half or more of all of the surviving competent adult children; 16 (5) the surviving competent parents of the decedent; if one of the 17 surviving competent parents is absent, the remaining competent parent may exercise 18 the rights and duties of this section after reasonable efforts have been unsuccessful in 19 locating the absent surviving competent parent; in this paragraph, "absent" means a 20 person who is unable to communicate decisions or participate in making decisions 21 regarding the disposition of a decedent's remains personally, telephonically, or through 22 electronic communication; 23 (6) the surviving competent adult person in the next degrees of 24 kindred, the two surviving competent adult persons of the same degree of kindred if 25 there are two, or, if there are more than two surviving competent adult persons of the 26 same degree of kindred, the majority of those persons; fewer than the majority of 27 surviving competent adult persons of the same degree of kindred may exercise the 28 rights and duties of this section if those persons use reasonable efforts to notify all 29 other surviving competent adult persons of the same degree of kindred that they are 30 exercising these rights and duties and are not aware of any opposition by one-half or 31 more of all surviving competent adult persons of the same degree of kindred;
01 (7) in the case of an indigent or another individual whose final 02 disposition is the responsibility of the state or a municipality, a public administrator, 03 medical examiner, coroner, or another public official charged with arranging the final 04 disposition of the decedent; or 05 (8) another person who is willing to assume legal and financial 06 responsibility. 07 (b) If a person takes control of the disposition under (a) of this section, the 08 person is liable for the reasonable costs of the disposition. 09 (c) In this section, 10 (1) "adult" means a person who is 18 years of age or older; 11 (2) "competent" means a person who does not suffer from disabilities 12 that prevent the person from managing the person's property or affairs. 13 Sec. 13.75.030. Form of disposition document. A disposition document must 14 be in substantially the following form: 15 DISPOSITION DOCUMENT 16 You can select Part 1, Part 2, or both, by completing the part(s) 17 you select, including providing any signatures indicated. Part 3 contains 18 general statements and a place for your signature. You must sign in 19 front of a notary. 20 PART 1. APPOINTMENT OF AGENT TO CONTROL 21 DISPOSITION OF REMAINS. If you appoint an agent, you and your 22 agent must complete this part as indicated, and the agent must sign this 23 part. 24 I, ______________, being of sound mind, wilfully and 25 voluntarily make known my desire that, on my death, the disposition of 26 my remains shall be controlled by _____________ (name of agent first 27 named below), and, with respect to that subject only, I appoint that 28 person as my agent. All decisions made by my agent with respect to the 29 disposition of my remains, including cremation, are binding. 30 ACCEPTANCE BY AGENT OF APPOINTMENT. 31 THE AGENT, AND EACH SUCCESSOR AGENT, BY
01 ACCEPTING THIS APPOINTMENT, AGREES TO AND ASSUMES 02 THE OBLIGATIONS PROVIDED IN THIS DOCUMENT. AN 03 AGENT MAY SIGN AT ANY TIME, BUT AN AGENT'S 04 AUTHORITY TO ACT IS NOT EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE AGENT 05 SIGNS BELOW TO INDICATE THE ACCEPTANCE OF 06 APPOINTMENT. ANY NUMBER OF AGENTS MAY SIGN, BUT 07 ONLY THE SIGNATURE OF THE AGENT ACTING AT ANY 08 TIME IS REQUIRED. 09 AGENT: 10 Name: ___________________________________________________ 11 Address: _________________________________________________ 12 Telephone Number: _________________________________________ 13 Signature Indicating Acceptance of Appointment: 14 _________________________________________________________ 15 Date of Signature: __________________________________________ 16 SUCCESSORS: 17 If my agent dies, becomes legally disabled, resigns, or refuses to 18 act, I appoint the following persons (each to act alone and successively, 19 in the order named) to serve as my agent to control the disposition of 20 my remains as authorized by this document: 21 (1) First Successor 22 Name: ___________________________________________________ 23 Address: _________________________________________________ 24 Telephone Number: _________________________________________ 25 Signature of First Successor Indicating Acceptance of Appointment: 26 _________________________________________________________ 27 Date of Signature: __________________________________________ 28 (2) Second Successor 29 Name: ___________________________________________________ 30 Address: _________________________________________________ 31 Telephone Number: _________________________________________
01 Signature of Second Successor Indicating Acceptance of Appointment: 02 _________________________________________________________ 03 Date of Signature: __________________________________________ 04 PART 2. DIRECTIONS FOR THE DISPOSITION OF MY 05 REMAINS. 06 Stated below are my directions for the disposition of my remains: 07 _________________________________________________________ 08 _________________________________________________________ 09 _________________________________________________________ 10 _________________________________________________________ 11 If the disposition of my remains is by cremation, then (pick one): 12 ( ) I do not wish to allow any of my survivors the option of 13 canceling my cremation and selecting alternative arrangements, 14 regardless of whether my survivors consider a change to be appropriate. 15 ( ) I wish to allow only the survivors I have designated below 16 to have the option of canceling my cremation and selecting alternative 17 arrangements, if they consider that a change to be appropriate: 18 _________________________________________________________ 19 _________________________________________________________ 20 _________________________________________________________ 21 _________________________________________________________ 22 PART 3. GENERAL PROVISIONS AND SIGNATURE. 23 WHEN DIRECTIONS BECOME EFFECTIVE. The directions, 24 including any appointment of an agent, in this disposition document 25 become effective on my death. 26 REVOCATION OF PRIOR APPOINTMENTS. I revoke any 27 prior appointment of any person to control the disposition of my 28 remains. 29 SIGNATURE OF PERSON MAKING DISPOSITION DOCUMENT 30 Signature: ________________________________________________ 31 Date of signature: __________________________________________
01 (Notary acknowledgment of signature) 02 Sec. 13.75.040. Agent's appointment. The person appointed as an agent in a 03 disposition document may sign the disposition document at any time, but the agent's 04 authority to act is not effective until the agent signs the instrument. 05 Sec. 13.75.050. Exercise of authority. If a person fails to exercise the person's 06 authority to control disposition under AS 13.75.020 within 48 hours after receiving 07 notification of the decedent's death or within 48 hours after the decedent's death, 08 whichever is earlier, the person may not control the disposition of the decedent's 09 remains, and the right to control the disposition of the decedent's remains passes to the 10 person who is next listed in priority under AS 13.75.020. If the person to whom the 11 right to control the disposition passes under this section fails to exercise the person's 12 authority to control the disposition within 48 hours after being notified that the 13 authority to control the disposition has passed to the person, the authority to control 14 the disposition passes to the person who is next listed in priority under AS 13.75.020. 15 Sec. 13.75.060. Certain persons prohibited from control. If a person is 16 charged with a felonious killing in connection with a decedent's death and if the 17 funeral director or the cemetery knows about the charge, then the person may not 18 control disposition, and the right to control disposition passes to the person who is 19 next listed in priority under AS 13.75.020. 20 Sec. 13.75.070. Prohibition of cremation; written instructions. A person 21 may not authorize cremation for a decedent's remains if a decedent has left directions 22 in a disposition document that the decedent does not wish to be cremated. 23 Sec. 13.75.080. Implementation of directions. (a) The person authorized to 24 control the disposition shall carry out the directions of the decedent to the extent that 25 the decedent's estate or the person is financially able to carry out the directions. 26 (b) Notwithstanding any other provision in AS 13.06 - 13.36 (Uniform 27 Probate Code), if a person provides directions in a disposition document that is 28 contained in a will, the directions shall be carried out immediately without the 29 necessity of probate. If the will is not probated or is declared invalid for testamentary 30 purposes, the directions are valid to the extent to which they have been acted on in 31 good faith.
01 Sec. 13.75.090. Misrepresentation; liability. If a person represents that the 02 person knows the identity of a decedent and, with the intent to procure the disposition 03 of the decedent's remains, signs a statement, other than a death certificate, that 04 identifies the decedent, the person guarantees the identity of the decedent and is liable 05 for any damages that result, directly or indirectly, from that guarantee. 06 Sec. 13.75.100. Liability. (a) A disposition organization is not liable for 07 carrying out the directions of a decedent if the disposition organization carries out the 08 directions of a decedent or a person who establishes that the person is entitled to 09 control the disposition. 10 (b) This section may not be construed to reduce or eliminate the liability of a 11 disposition organization for its negligence or reckless acts. 12 Sec. 13.75.110. Disputes. (a) A person listed in AS 13.75.020 who is involved 13 in a dispute with one or more persons listed in AS 13.75.020 about which of the 14 persons has the authority to control disposition may bring an action in the superior 15 court to resolve the dispute. 16 (b) If there is a dispute with one or more persons listed in AS 13.75.020 about 17 which person has the authority to control disposition, a cemetery organization or 18 funeral establishment is not liable for refusing to accept, to inter, or otherwise to 19 dispose of the decedent's remains until the cemetery organization or funeral 20 establishment receives a court order or another suitable confirmation that the dispute 21 has been resolved. 22 Sec. 13.75.190. Definitions. In this chapter, 23 (1) "control" means the authority to control disposition; 24 (2) "directions" means 25 (A) instructions for the disposition of a person's remains; 26 (B) the appointment of an agent to handle the disposition of a 27 person's remains; or 28 (C) both (A) and (B) of this paragraph; 29 (3) "disposition" means disposition of a decedent's remains, including 30 cremation, but does not include an anatomical gift; in this paragraph "anatomical gift" 31 has the meaning given in AS 13.52.390;
01 (4) "disposition document" means a disposition document authorized 02 by AS 13.75.010 03 (A) in which a person provides directions regarding the 04 disposition of the person's remains; and 05 (B) that complies with AS 13.75.030; 06 (5) "disposition organization" means 07 (A) a cemetery association formed under AS 10.30.010; 08 (B) a nonprofit cemetery corporation authorized by 09 AS 10.30.055; 10 (C) a person operating a crematory; 11 (D) a person operating a columbarium; 12 (E) a funeral home or other type of funeral establishment; 13 (F) a funeral director or an embalmer. 14 Sec. 13.75.195. Short title. This chapter may be cited as the Disposition of 15 Human Remains Act.