§ 90-210.130.  Final disposition of cremated remains.

(a) The authorizing agent shall provide the person with whom cremation arrangements are made with a signed statement specifying the ultimate disposition of the cremated remains, if known. The crematory licensee may store or retain cremated remains as directed by the authorizing agent. Records of retention and disposition of cremated remains shall be kept by the crematory licensee pursuant to G.S. 90-210.127.

(b) The authorizing agent is responsible for the disposition of the cremated remains. If, after a period of 30 days from the date of cremation, the authorizing agent or the agent's representative has not specified the final disposition or claimed the cremated remains, the crematory licensee or the person in possession of the cremated remains may release the cremated remains to another family member upon written notification to the authorizing agent delivered by certified mail or dispose of the cremated remains only in a manner permitted in this section. The authorizing agent shall be responsible for reimbursing the crematory licensee for all reasonable expenses incurred in disposing of the cremated remains pursuant to this section. A record of such disposition shall be made and kept by the person making the disposition. Upon disposing of cremated remains in accordance with this section, the crematory licensee or person in possession of the cremated remains shall be discharged from any legal obligation or liability concerning such cremated remains.

(c) In addition to the disposal of cremated remains in a crypt, niche, grave, or scattering garden located in a dedicated cemetery, or by scattering over uninhabited public land, the sea, or other public waterways pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, cremated remains may be disposed of in any manner on the private property of a consenting owner, upon direction of the authorizing agent. If cremated remains are to be disposed of by the crematory licensee on private property, other than dedicated cemetery property, the authorizing agent shall provide the crematory licensee with the written consent of the property owner.

(d) Except with the express written permission of the authorizing agent, no person may:

(1) Dispose of or scatter cremated remains in such a manner or in such a location that the cremated remains are commingled with those of another person. This subdivision shall not apply to the scattering of cremated remains at sea or by air from individual closed containers or to the scattering of cremated remains in an area located in a dedicated cemetery and used exclusively for such purposes.

(2) Place cremated remains of more than one person in the same closed container. This subdivision shall not apply to placing the cremated remains of members of the same family in a common closed container designed for the cremated remains of more than one person with the written consent of the family.

(e) Cremated remains shall be released by the crematory licensee to the individual specified by the authorizing agent on the cremation authorization form. The representative of the crematory licensee and the individual receiving the cremated remains shall sign a receipt indicating the name of the deceased, and the date, time, and place of the receipt, and contain a representation that the handling of the final disposition will be in a proper manner. After this delivery, the cremated remains may be transported in any manner in this State, without a permit, and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of this Article.

(f) Cremated remains may be scattered over uninhabited public land, over a public waterway or sea, subject to health and environmental standards, or on the private property of a consenting owner pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. A person may utilize a boat or airplane to perform such scattering. Cremated remains shall be removed from their closed container before they are scattered. (1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 988, s. 1; 1997-399, s. 20; 2003-420, s. 2; 2007-531, s. 24.)