Legal Next of Kin

The legal next of kin (who will be the primary contact for the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office) is determined by state code. This is also the person who will have the legal right to determine the disposition (for example, cremation or burial). 

Unless the decedent has previously designated someone to make this decision, the legal next of kin is determined by Iowa Code 144C.5.

    • This designation must be in writing and must be notarized.
    • A person who has been designated Power of Attorney prior to death does NOT automatically have rights to determine disposition.