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Next of Kin

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Next of Kin: Explained

We provide simple direct cremation services without unnecessary extras. We also aim to help you understand your rights and responsibilities after a loved one passes. Although the term “Next of Kin” has been used for generations, its meaning has changed over time and can have a different legal status across various states. If you are unsure about your legal status as Next of Kin, we encourage you to seek professional legal counsel for specific questions and concerns.

What Does “Next of Kin” Mean?

Generally speaking, an individual’s next of kin is their closest living blood relative, including spouses and adopted family members. Each state’s laws describe who is able to make funeral arrangements (like choosing between burial and cremation). That person is generally referred to as the "Next of Kin," even though that phrase is no longer used in most laws.

Who Is Next of Kin When Someone Dies?

Next of Kin could be a living blood relative, a spouse, adult child, or sibling. It might also be someone who is not related but who has legal authority from the decedent’s written directions and authorizations. Each state has different laws about identifying Next of Kin and their legal status.

Because Tulip serves families in several states with varied interpretations of Next of Kin, we provide a link below to each state’s law.