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AGO Opinions with Topic: DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED BODIES OF DECEASED INMATES AT STATE INSTITUTIONS
AGO 1953 No. 85 >  July 10, 1953
PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS - DEAD BODIES - DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED BODIES OF DECEASED INMATES AT STATE INSTITUTIONS - RESPONSIBILITY FOR COST OF BURIAL
PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS ‑- DEAD BODIES ‑- DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED BODIES OF DECEASED INMATES AT STATE INSTITUTIONS ‑- RESPONSIBILITY FOR COST OF BURIAL 1. State institutions have no authority to embalm, bury, cremate or otherwise dispose of unclaimed bodies of deceased inmates. 2. The jurisdiction of unclaimed bodies of deceased inmates is vested in the coroner of the county in which the inmates died. 3. The primary responsibility for the payment of the funeral costs rests with the relatives of the decedent or his estate.  If they are not financially able the county must provide for the disposition of the remains, ultimately, the department of public assistance must pay the cost of burial of indigent persons irrespective of whether or not they have been recipients of public assistance. 4. A state institution must obtain authorization from the county coroner before the institutional medical staff can perform an autopsy on the unclaimed body of a deceased inmate.
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