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