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(410 ILCS 18/20)
(Section scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2029)
Authorization to cremate.
(a) A crematory authority shall not cremate human remains until it
has received all of the following:
(1) A cremation authorization form signed, in either
paper or electronic format, by an authorizing agent. The cremation authorization form shall be provided by the crematory authority and shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
(A) The identity of the human remains and the
(B) The name of the funeral director and funeral
establishment, if applicable, that obtained the cremation authorization.
(C) Notification as to whether the death
occurred from a disease declared by the Department of Health to be infectious, contagious, communicable, or dangerous to the public health.
(D) The name of the authorizing agent and the
relationship between the authorizing agent and the decedent.
(E) A representation that the authorizing agent
does in fact have the right to authorize the cremation of the decedent, and that the authorizing agent is not aware of any living person who has a superior priority right to that of the authorizing agent, as set forth in Section 15. In the event there is another living person who has a superior priority right to that of the authorizing agent, the form shall contain a representation that the authorizing agent has made all reasonable efforts to contact that person, has been unable to do so, and has no reason to believe that the person would object to the cremation of the decedent.
(F) Authorization for the crematory authority to
cremate the human remains.
(G) A representation that the human remains do
not contain a pacemaker or any other material or implant that may be potentially hazardous or cause damage to the cremation chamber or the person performing the cremation.
(H) The name of the person authorized to receive
the cremated remains from the crematory authority.
(I) The manner in which final disposition of the
cremated remains is to take place, if known. If the cremation authorization form does not specify final disposition in a grave, crypt, niche, or scattering area, then the form may indicate that the cremated remains will be held by the crematory authority for 30 days before they are released, unless they are picked up from the crematory authority prior to that time, in person, by the authorizing agent. At the end of the 30 days the crematory authority may return the cremated remains to the authorizing agent if no final disposition arrangements are made; or at the end of 60 days the crematory authority may dispose of the cremated remains in accordance with subsection (d) of Section 40.
(J) A listing of any items of value to be
delivered to the crematory authority along with the human remains, and instructions as to how the items should be handled.
(K) A specific statement as to whether the
authorizing agent has made arrangements for any type of viewing of the decedent before cremation, or for a service with the decedent present before cremation in connection with the cremation, and if so, the date and time of the viewing or service and whether the crematory authority is authorized to proceed with the cremation upon receipt of the human remains.
(L) The signature, in either paper or electronic
format, of the authorizing agent, attesting to the accuracy of all representations contained on the cremation authorization form, except as set forth in paragraph (M) of this subsection.
(M) If a cremation authorization form is being
executed on a pre-need basis, the cremation authorization form shall contain the disclosure required by subsection (b) of Section 140.
(N) The cremation authorization form, other than
pre-need cremation forms, shall also be signed, in either paper or electronic format, by a funeral director or other representative of the funeral establishment that obtained the cremation authorization. That individual shall merely execute the cremation authorization form as a witness and shall not be responsible for any of the representations made by the authorizing agent, unless the individual has actual knowledge to the contrary. The information requested by items (A), (B), (C) and (G) of this subsection, however, shall be considered to be representations of the authorizing agent. In addition, the funeral director or funeral establishment shall warrant to the crematory that the human remains delivered to the crematory authority are the human remains identified on the cremation authorization form.
(2) A completed and executed burial transit permit
indicating that the human remains are to be cremated.
(3) Any other documentation required by this State.
(b) If an authorizing agent is not available to execute a cremation
authorization form in person, that person may delegate that authority to
another person in writing, or by sending the crematory authority a facsimile
transmission that contains the name, address, and relationship of the sender to
the decedent and the name and address of the individual to whom authority is
delegated. Upon receipt of the written document, or facsimile
transmission, telegram, or other electronic telecommunications transmission
which specifies the individual to whom authority has been delegated, the
crematory authority shall allow this individual to serve as the authorizing
agent and to execute the cremation authorization form. The crematory
authority shall be entitled to rely upon the cremation authorization form
(c) An authorizing agent who signs, in either paper or electronic format, a cremation authorization form shall be
deemed to warrant the truthfulness of any facts set forth on the cremation
authorization form, including that person's authority to order the cremation;
except for the information required by items (C) and (G) of paragraph (1) of
subsection (a) of this Section, unless the authorizing agent has actual
knowledge to the contrary. An authorizing agent signing, in either paper or electronic format, a cremation
authorization form shall be personally and individually liable for all damages
occasioned by and resulting from authorizing the cremation.
(d) A crematory authority shall have authority to cremate human remains upon
the receipt of a cremation authorization form signed, in either paper or electronic format, by an authorizing agent.
There shall be no liability for a crematory authority that cremates human
remains according to an authorization, or that releases or disposes of the
cremated remains according to an authorization, except for a crematory
authority's gross negligence, provided that the crematory authority performs
its functions in compliance with this Act.
(e) After an authorizing agent has executed a cremation authorization form,
the authorizing agent may revoke the authorization and instruct the crematory
authority to cancel the cremation and to release or deliver the human remains
to another crematory authority or funeral establishment. The instructions
shall be provided to the crematory authority in writing. A crematory authority
shall honor any instructions given to it by an authorizing agent under this
Section if it receives the instructions prior to beginning the cremation of the
(Source: P.A. 102-824, eff. 1-1-23