Can I name a designated agent other than next of kin to make decisions regarding disposition of my body after death?

In many states, you can name a designated agent for the purpose of carrying out your final wishes. Some states have a personal preference law that obligates the survivors to carry out the wishes of the dead, provided these wishes are within reason and can be carried out in a practical manner. Other states permit a person to name a designated agent to be in charge of decisions regarding disposition of the body after death. Some states will also allow a close friend to serve as next of kin if the above relatives are not available or able to serve.

For more details on each state’s rules governing designated agents, see
http://www.funerals.org/forconsumersmenu/your-legal-rights/funeral-decision-rights