Forms & Instructions

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The following forms are available to download in Adobe PDF Format. Adobe Reader is a free, universal publishing tool that works across many different computer platforms. If you do not have Adobe Reader installed on your computer, you may download the latest version for free from Adobe.

Cremation Authorization

The Cremation Authorization gives the funeral service and crematory the permission to perform the cremation. It may be signed by any competent person on his or her own behalf or it may be signed by the legal authorizing agent after the death has occurred. Under the Washington Administrative Code (WAC 308-47-010) “Authorizing agent” means the person(s) legally entitled to control the disposition of the human remains. The authorizing agent is the competent adult highest on the following list:

(a) The person designated by the decedent as authorized to direct disposition as listed on the decedent’s United States department of defense record of emergency data, DD form 93, or its successor form, if the decedent died while serving in military service as described in 10 U.S.C. Sec. 1481(a) (1)-(8) in any branch of the United States armed forces, United States reserve forces, or national guard;

(b) The designated agent of the decedent as directed through a written document signed and dated by the decedent in the presence of a witness. The direction of the designated agent is sufficient to direct the type, place, and method of disposition;

(c) The surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner;

(d) The majority of the surviving adult children of the decedent;

(e) The surviving parents of the decedent;

(f) The majority of the surviving siblings of the decedent;

(g) A court-appointed guardian for the person at the time of the person’s death.

RCW* 68.50.160 states, “A person has the right to control the disposition of his or her own remains without the predeath or post death 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. Prearrangements that are prepaid, or filed with a licensed funeral establishment or cemetery authority………are not subject to cancellation or substantial revision by survivors.”

RCW 68.50.160 further states that if a funeral establishment or cemetery has made a good faith effort to locate the responsible next of kin, and they cannot be found, ” the cemetery authority or funeral establishment shall have the right to rely on an authority to cremate executed by the most responsible party available, and the cemetery authority or funeral establishment shall not be criminally or civilly liable for cremating the remains.”

Read RCW 68.50.160 here  (Opens in New Window)

An individual may sign his or her own authorization, or a surviving spouse may sign for the decedent, When there are multiple surviving members of any of the above classes (3-7),
it is generally required that all surviving members of that class sign the cremation
authorization, Fax copies are acceptable.

Cremation Authorization by Individual prior to Death (Self):


Cremation Authorization (Self)



Cremation Authorization by Legal Next-of-Kin:


The following Cremation Authorization Form is used when the decedent did not authorize the cremation pursuant to RWC 68.50.160.

There are three places on the form that require a signature:

  1. Authorization to Cremate
  2. Acknowledgement that the remains of the decedent do or do not contain implants such as pacemakers, radioactive devices, or mechanical devices, and permission to remove
    dangerous devices prior to cremation.
  3. Acknowledgement that the authorizing agent(s) understand how cremation is performed.

This form can be filled out on the computer or printed to be filed out by hand.

Cremation Authorization (Agent)



Vital Statistics Worksheet:


The Vital Statistics Worksheet is used to gather the information needed to complete the death certificate which is filed with the county health department. It is advisable to gather this information well in advance of an impending death. Often surviving adult children cannot immediately or easily find important information such as a social security number, the maiden name of a grandparent, or where the decedent’s military papers are located.

After downloading this form, information can be entered by computer using Adobe Reader and printed, or a blank sheet can be printed and filled out by hand.


Statistics Worksheet


*The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) is the compilation of all permanent laws now in force.