If someone dies without a last will and testament, funeral establishments must follow a specific order in regard to the next of kin who would be in charge of completing funeral arrangements.  This order is as follows: 1) Spouse, including common law spouse 2) Adult children 3) Parents 4) Adult grandchildren 5) Adult siblings. Please note that this pertains to funeral arrangements and that estate requirements may differ. Also worth noting is that if someone was legally married and separated but without a finalized divorced at time of death, the spouse is still the next of kin for funeral arrangements. In the case that someone is without family or is estranged from family members, a friend is not considered “next of kin” and cannot authorize cremation unless they’re listed as an executor or permission from the legal next of kin is granted.