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Illinois Compiled Statutes

Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide.

Because the statute database is maintained primarily for legislative drafting purposes, statutory changes are sometimes included in the statute database before they take effect. If the source note at the end of a Section of the statutes includes a Public Act that has not yet taken effect, the version of the law that is currently in effect may have already been removed from the database and you should refer to that Public Act to see the changes made to the current law.

ESTATES
(755 ILCS 65/) Disposition of Remains Act.

755 ILCS 65/1

    (755 ILCS 65/1)
    Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Disposition of Remains Act.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06.)

755 ILCS 65/5

    (755 ILCS 65/5)
    Sec. 5. Right to control disposition; priority. Unless a decedent has left directions in writing for the disposition or designated an agent to direct the disposition of the decedent's remains as provided in Section 65 of the Crematory Regulation Act or in subsection (a) of Section 40 of this Act, the following persons, in the priority listed, have the right to control the disposition, including cremation, of the decedent's remains and are liable for the reasonable costs of the disposition:
        (1) the person designated in a written instrument
    
that satisfies the provisions of Sections 10 and 15 of this Act;
        (2) any person serving as executor or legal
    
representative of the decedent's estate and acting according to the decedent's written instructions contained in the decedent's will;
        (3) the individual who was the spouse of the decedent
    
at the time of the decedent's death;
        (4) the sole surviving competent adult child of the
    
decedent, or if there is more than one surviving competent adult child of the decedent, the majority of the surviving competent adult children; however, less than one-half of the surviving adult children shall be vested with the rights and duties of this Section if they have used reasonable efforts to notify all other surviving competent adult children of their instructions and are not aware of any opposition to those instructions on the part of more than one-half of all surviving competent adult children;
        (5) the surviving competent parents of the decedent;
    
if one of the surviving competent parents is absent, the remaining competent parent shall be vested with the rights and duties of this Act after reasonable efforts have been unsuccessful in locating the absent surviving competent parent;
        (6) the surviving competent adult person or persons
    
respectively in the next degrees of kindred or, if there is more than one surviving competent adult person of the same degree of kindred, the majority of those persons; less than the majority of surviving competent adult persons of the same degree of kindred shall be vested with the rights and duties of this Act if those persons have used reasonable efforts to notify all other surviving competent adult persons of the same degree of kindred of their instructions and are not aware of any opposition to those instructions on the part of one-half or more of all surviving competent adult persons of the same degree of kindred;
        (7) 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;
        (8) in the case of individuals who have donated their
    
bodies to science, or whose death occurred in a nursing home or other private institution, who have executed cremation authorization forms under Section 65 of the Crematory Regulation Act and the institution is charged with making arrangements for the final disposition of the decedent, a representative of the institution; or
        (9) any other person or organization that is willing
    
to assume legal and financial responsibility.
    As used in Section, "adult" means any individual who has reached his or her eighteenth birthday.
    Notwithstanding provisions to the contrary, in the case of decedents who die while serving as members of the United States Armed Forces, the Illinois National Guard, or the United States Reserve Forces, as defined in Section 1481 of Title 10 of the United States Code, and who have executed the required U.S. Department of Defense Record of Emergency Data Form (DD Form 93), or successor form, the person designated in such form to direct disposition of the decedent's remains shall have the right to control the disposition, including cremation, of the decedent's remains.
(Source: P.A. 97-333, eff. 8-12-11; 98-463, eff. 8-16-13.)

755 ILCS 65/10

    (755 ILCS 65/10)
    Sec. 10. Form. The written instrument authorizing the disposition of remains under paragraph (1) of Section 5 of this Act shall be in substantially the following form:
 
"APPOINTMENT OF AGENT TO CONTROL DISPOSITION OF REMAINS
        I, ................................, being of sound
    
mind, willfully and voluntarily make known my desire that, upon my death, the disposition of my remains shall be controlled by ................... (name of agent first named below) and, with respect to that subject only, I hereby appoint such person as my agent (attorney-in-fact). All decisions made by my agent with respect to the disposition of my remains, including cremation, shall be binding.

 
    SPECIAL DIRECTIONS:
         Set forth below are any special directions limiting
    
the power granted to my agent:
    ..............................
    ..............................
    ..............................
 
If the disposition of my remains is by cremation, then:
 
( ) I do not wish to allow any of my survivors the option of canceling my cremation and selecting alternative arrangements, regardless of whether my survivors deem a change to be appropriate.
 
( ) I wish to allow only the survivors I have designated below the option of canceling my cremation and selecting alternative arrangements, if they deem a change to be appropriate:
    ......................................................
    ......................................................
    ......................................................
 
    ASSUMPTION:
 
        THE AGENT, AND EACH SUCCESSOR AGENT, BY ACCEPTING
    
THIS APPOINTMENT, AGREES TO AND ASSUMES THE OBLIGATIONS PROVIDED HEREIN. AN AGENT MAY SIGN AT ANY TIME, BUT AN AGENT'S AUTHORITY TO ACT IS NOT EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE AGENT SIGNS BELOW TO INDICATE THE ACCEPTANCE OF APPOINTMENT. ANY NUMBER OF AGENTS MAY SIGN, BUT ONLY THE SIGNATURE OF THE AGENT ACTING AT ANY TIME IS REQUIRED.

 
    AGENT:
    Name: ......................................
    Address: ...................................
    Telephone Number: ..........................
    Signature Indicating Acceptance of Appointment: .........
    Date of Signature: .........................
 
    SUCCESSORS:
        If my agent dies, becomes legally disabled, resigns,
    
or refuses to act, I hereby appoint the following persons (each to act alone and successively, in the order named) to serve as my agent (attorney-in-fact) to control the disposition of my remains as authorized by this document:

 
    1. First Successor
 
    Name: ......................................
    Address: ...................................
    Telephone Number: ..........................
    Signature Indicating Acceptance of Appointment: .........
    Date of Signature: ....................
 
    2. Second Successor
 
    Name: ......................................
    Address: ...................................
    Telephone Number: ..........................
    Signature Indicating Acceptance of Appointment: .........
    Date of Signature: .............
 
    DURATION:
    This appointment becomes effective upon my death.
 
    PRIOR APPOINTMENTS REVOKED:
        I hereby revoke any prior appointment of any person
    
to control the disposition of my remains.

 
    RELIANCE:
        I hereby agree that any hospital, cemetery
    
organization, business operating a crematory or columbarium or both, funeral director or embalmer, or funeral establishment who receives a copy of this document may act under it. Any modification or revocation of this document is not effective as to any such party until that party receives actual notice of the modification or revocation. No such party shall be liable because of reliance on a copy of this document.

 
    Signed this ...... day of .............., ...........
 
     .........................................
 
    STATE OF ..................
    COUNTY OF .................
 
        BEFORE ME, the undersigned, a Notary Public, on this
    
day personally appeared ...................., proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she executed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed.

 
    GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND SEAL OF OFFICE this ..... day
    of ................, 2........
 
    ..........................................
 
    Printed Name: .............................
    Notary Public, State of ...................
 
    My Commission Expires:
    ....................".
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06; 94-1051, eff. 7-24-06.)

755 ILCS 65/15

    (755 ILCS 65/15)
    Sec. 15. Requirements for written instrument under paragraph (1) of Section 5 of this Act. A written instrument is legally sufficient under paragraph (1) of Section 5 if the wording of the instrument complies substantially with Section 10, the instrument is properly completed, the instrument is signed by the decedent and the agent and the signature of the decedent is notarized. The agent may sign at any time, but the agent's authority to act is not effective until the agent signs the instrument. The written instrument may be modified or revoked only by a subsequent written instrument that complies with this Section.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06; 94-1051, eff. 7-24-06.)

755 ILCS 65/20

    (755 ILCS 65/20)
    Sec. 20. Duties of authorized agent.
    (a) A person listed in Section 5 has the right, duty, and liability provided by that Section only if there is no person in a priority listed before the person.
    (b) If any person who would otherwise have the right to control disposition pursuant to Section 5 has been charged with first or second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter in connection with the decedent's death and those charges are known to the funeral director or cemetery authority, that person's right to control is relinquished and passed on to the next listed person or group of persons in accordance with Section 5.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06.)

755 ILCS 65/25

    (755 ILCS 65/25)
    Sec. 25. Body parts. In the case of body parts, a representative of the institution that has arranged with a funeral home, cemetery, or crematory authority to cremate or make other appropriate disposition of the body parts may serve as the authorizing agent.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06.)

755 ILCS 65/30

    (755 ILCS 65/30)
    Sec. 30. Prohibition of cremation; written instructions. No person shall be allowed to authorize cremation when a decedent has left written instructions that he or she does not wish to be cremated.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06.)

755 ILCS 65/35

    (755 ILCS 65/35)
    Sec. 35. Misrepresentation; liability. A person who represents that he or she knows the identity of a decedent and, in order to procure the disposition, including cremation, of the decedent's remains, signs an order or statement, other than a death certificate, warrants the identity of the decedent and is liable for all damages that result, directly or indirectly, from that warrant.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06.)

755 ILCS 65/40

    (755 ILCS 65/40)
    Sec. 40. Directions by decedent.
    (a) A person may provide written directions for the disposition or designate an agent to direct the disposition, including cremation, of the person's remains in a will, a prepaid funeral or burial contract, a power of attorney that satisfies the provisions of Article IV-Powers of Attorney for Health Care of the Illinois Power of Attorney Act and contains a power to direct the disposition of remains, a cremation authorization form that complies with the Crematory Regulation Act, or in a written instrument that satisfies the provisions of Sections 10 and 15 and that is signed by the person and notarized. The directions may be modified or revoked only by a subsequent writing signed by the person. The person otherwise entitled to control the disposition of a decedent's remains under this Act shall faithfully carry out the directions of the decedent to the extent that the decedent's estate or the person controlling the disposition are financially able to do so.
    The changes made by this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly shall also apply to any written instrument that: (i) satisfies the provision of Article IV-Powers of Attorney for Health Care of the Illinois Power of Attorney Act; (ii) contains a power to direct the disposition of remains; and (iii) was created before the effective date of this amendatory Act.
    (b) If the directions are in a will, they shall be carried out immediately without the necessity of probate. If the will is not probated or is declared invalid for testamentary purposes, the directions are valid to the extent to which they have been acted on in good faith.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06; 94-1051, eff. 7-24-06.)

755 ILCS 65/45

    (755 ILCS 65/45)
    Sec. 45. Liability. There shall be no liability for a cemetery organization, a business operating a crematory or columbarium or both, a funeral director or an embalmer, or a funeral establishment that carries out the written directions of a decedent or the directions of any person who represents that the person is entitled to control the disposition of the decedent's remains. Nothing herein shall be intended or construed to reduce or eliminate liability for the gross negligence or willful acts of any cemetery organization, business operating a crematory or columbarium or both, funeral director or embalmer, or funeral establishment.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06.)

755 ILCS 65/50

    (755 ILCS 65/50)
    Sec. 50. Disputes. Any dispute among any of the persons listed in Section 5 concerning their right to control the disposition, including cremation, of a decedent's remains shall be resolved by a court of competent jurisdiction. A cemetery organization or funeral establishment shall not be liable for refusing to accept the decedent's remains, or to inter or otherwise dispose of the decedent's remains, until it receives a court order or other suitable confirmation that the dispute has been resolved or settled.
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06.)

755 ILCS 65/300

    (755 ILCS 65/300)
    Sec. 300. (Amendatory provisions; text omitted).
(Source: P.A. 94-561, eff. 1-1-06; text omitted.)