New Hawaii law sets rules for unclaimed remains - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New Hawaii law sets rules for unclaimed remains

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii funeral homes, mortuaries and crematories are now protected from liability if they want to dispose of unclaimed bodies.

A new state law provides procedures and legal guidelines to dispose of remains. Funeral establishments had argued the problem needed to be addressed because no regulations existed.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday that without clear guidelines about what to do when remains aren't claimed or if there are family disputes, funeral establishments had the burden of storing remains, sometimes for decades.

Hawaii was 1 of 2 states without a law specifying whose wishes take precedence when it comes to decisions about the deceased.

The new law provides a priority list of who can make decisions. At the top of the list is anyone designated in writing through a notary.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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