2010 Mississippi Code
TITLE 73 - PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONS
Chapter 11 - Practice of Funeral Service and Funeral Directing.
73-11-58 - List of persons who may authorize type, method, or place of disposition of decedent's body where no written instructions have been left; before accepting dead human body from certain persons, funeral establishments first required to make inquiry into desires of those with legal authority to direct disposition of decedent's body [Repealed effective July 1, 2013].

§ 73-11-58. List of persons who may authorize type, method, or place of disposition of decedent's body where no written instructions have been left; before accepting dead human body from certain persons, funeral establishments first required to make inquiry into desires of those with legal authority to direct disposition of decedent's body [Repealed effective July 1, 2013].
 

(1)  If a decedent has left no written authorization for the cremation and/or disposition of the decedent's body as permitted by law, the following competent persons, in the order of priority listed below, may authorize the type, method, place, cremation and/or other disposition of the decedent's body: 

(a) The surviving spouse. 

(b) The surviving children who are at least eighteen (18) years of age and can be located after reasonable efforts. 

(c) The surviving parents. 

(d) The surviving siblings who are at least eighteen (18) years of age and can be located after reasonable efforts. 

(e) A person in the class of the next degree of kinship, in descending order, who, under state law, would inherit the decedent's estate if the decedent died intestate who are at least eighteen (18) years of age and can be located with reasonable effort. 

(f) A person who has exhibited special care and concern for the decedent and is willing and able to make decisions about the cremation and disposition. 

(g) In the case of indigents or any other individuals whose final disposition is the responsibility of the state or any of its instrumentalities, a public administrator, medical examiner, coroner, state-appointed guardian, or any other public official charged with arranging the final disposition of the decedent may serve as the authorizing agent. 

(h) In the case of individuals who have donated their bodies to science or whose death occurred in a nursing home or private institution and in which the institution is charged with making arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent, a representative of the institution may serve as the authorizing agent in the absence of any of the above. 

(i) In the absence of any of the above, any person willing to assume responsibility for the cremation and disposition of the decedent. 

(2)  No funeral establishment shall accept a dead human body from any public officer or employee or from the official of any institution, hospital or nursing home, or from a physician or any person having a professional relationship with a decedent, without having first made due inquiry as to the desires of the persons who have the legal authority to direct the disposition of the decedent's body.  If any persons are found, their authority and directions shall govern the disposal of the remains of the decedent.  Any funeral establishment receiving the remains in violation of this subsection shall make no charge for any service in connection with the remains before delivery of the remains as stipulated by the persons having legal authority to direct the disposition of the body.  This section shall not prevent any funeral establishment from charging and being reimbursed for services rendered in connection with the removal of the remains of any deceased person in case of accidental or violent death and rendering necessary professional services required until the persons having legal authority to direct the disposition of the body have been notified. 
 

Sources: Laws, 2005, ch. 542, § 12, eff from and after July 1, 2005.
 

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