Cremation Authorization

There are two cremation authorization forms available here. The first is signed by the next-of-kin or authorized agent on behalf of a deceased person.  The second is a form that an individual may use while still alive. The links take you to a form that may be filled in on-line. These forms need to be printed and physically signed in front of a witness.

  • Cremation Authorization form
  • Cremation Authorization form

Washington State law protects individuals' right to substantially dictate the manner of  disposition of their remains.  It also dictates who is responsible in the event an individual dies without making a written authorization.  Please read this section of Washington law that governs the right to control the disposition of remains.

RCW 68.50.160

Right to control disposition of remains - Liability of funeral establishment or cemetery authority. Liability for cost. (1) A person has the right to control the disposition of his or her own remains without the predeath or postdeath consent of another person. A valid written document expressing the decedent's wishes regarding the place or method of disposition of his or her remains, signed by the decedent in the presence of a witness, is sufficient legal authorization for the procedures to be accomplished.

(2) Prearrangements that are prepaid, or filed with a licensed funeral establishment or cemetery authority, under RCW 18.39.280 through 18.39.345 and chapter 68.46 RCW are not subject to cancellation or substantial revision by survivors. Absent actual knowledge of contrary legal authorization under this section, a licensed funeral establishment or cemetery authority shall not be held criminally nor civilly liable for acting upon such prearrangements.

(3) If the decedent has not made a prearrangement as set forth in subsection (2) of this section or the costs of executing the decedent's wishes regarding the disposition of the decedent's remains exceeds a reasonable amount or directions have not been given by the decedent, the right to control the disposition of the remains of a deceased person vests in, and the duty of disposition and the liability for the reasonable cost of preparation, care, and disposition of such remains devolves upon the following in the order named:

(a) The surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner.

(b) The surviving adult children of the decedent.

(c) The surviving parents of the decedent.

(d) The surviving siblings of the decedent.

(e) A person acting as a representative of the decedent under the signed authorization of the decedent.

(4) If a cemetery authority as defined in RCW 68.04.190 or a funeral establishment licensed under chapter 18.39RCW has made a good faith effort to locate the person cited in subsection (3)(a) through (e) of this section or the legal representative of the decedent's estate, the cemetery authority or funeral establishment shall have the right to rely on an authority to bury or cremate the human remains, executed by the most responsible party available, and the cemetery authority or funeral establishment may not be held criminally or civilly liable for burying or cremating the human remains. In the event any government agency provides the funds for the disposition of any human remains and the government agency elects to provide funds for cremation only, the cemetery authority or funeral establishment may not be held criminally or civilly liable for cremating the human remains.

(5) The liability for the reasonable cost of preparation, care, and disposition devolves jointly and severally upon all kin of the decedent in the same degree of kindred, in the order listed in subsection (3) of this section, and upon the estate of the decedent.