When a person dies in any county without apparent means to provide for that person's funeral or final disposition, the county board shall first investigate to determine whether that person had contracted for any prepaid funeral arrangements. If prepaid arrangements have been made, the county shall authorize arrangements to be implemented in accord with the instructions of the deceased. If it is determined that the person did not leave sufficient means to defray the necessary expenses of a funeral and final disposition, nor any spouse of sufficient ability to procure the burial, the county board shall pay for cremation of the person's remains and the person's burial or interment if the spouse or next of kin does not want to take possession of the ashes. If it is determined that cremation is not in accordance with the decedent's personal preferences or the known practices of the decedent's faith tradition or the personal preferences of the decedent's spouse or the decedent's next of kin, the county board shall provide for a burial and funeral. Any burial, funeral, and final disposition provided at the expense of the county shall be in accordance with personal preferences or known practices of the decedent's faith tradition or the personal preferences of the decedent's spouse or the decedent's next of kin. If neither the wishes of the decedent nor the practices of the decedent's faith tradition are known, and the county has no information about the existence of or location of any next of kin, the county may provide for cremation of the person's remains and burial or interment.
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