No dead human body shall be cremated without permission of the Office of the Chief
Medical Examiner as required by § 32.1-309.3 and visual identification of the deceased by the next-of-kin or his representative,
who may be any person designated to make arrangements for the disposition of the decedent's
remains pursuant to § 54.1-2825, an agent named in an advance directive pursuant to § 54.1-2984, or any guardian appointed pursuant to Chapter 20 (§ 64.2-2000 et seq.) of Title 64.2 who may exercise the powers conferred in the order of appointment
or by § 64.2-2019, or, in cases in which the next of kin or his representative fails or refuses to
provide visual identification of the deceased, by any other person 18 years of age
or older who is able to provide positive identification of the deceased. If no such next of kin or his representative or other person 18 years of age or
older is available or willing to make visual identification of the deceased, such
identification shall be made by a member of the primary law-enforcement agency of
the city or county in which the person or institution having initial custody of the
body is located, pursuant to court order. When visual identification is not feasible, other positive identification of the
deceased may be used as a prerequisite for cremation. Unless such act, decision, or omission resulted from bad faith or malicious intent,
the funeral service establishment, funeral service licensee, crematory, cemetery,
primary law-enforcement officer, sheriff, county, or city shall be immune from civil
liability for any act, decision, or omission resulting from cremation. Nothing in this section shall prevent a law-enforcement agency other than the primary
law-enforcement agency from performing the duties established by this section if so
requested by the primary law-enforcement agency and agreed to by the other law-enforcement
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.
Was this helpful?
Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes
A free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.