Who is considered next of kin?

According to NMSA 1978 §24-12A-2, legal next of kin, in order of precedence, is as follows:

  1. Surviving spouse
  2. Majority of surviving children over the age of 18
  3. Parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
  4. A majority of the surviving siblings of the decedent
  5. An adult who has exhibited special care and concern for the decedent, who is aware of the decedent's views and desires regarding the disposition of the decedent's body and who is willing and able to make a decision about the disposition of the decedent's body
  6. Adult person of the next degree of kinship in the order named by New Mexico Law as stated in NMSA 1978 §45-2-103

*Only the legal next of kin may make decisions on behalf of the decedent's disposition, and sign documentation agreeing and adhering to the program's policies and procedures.

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1. How does my family obtain a death certificate?
2. How are Veterans honored?
3. Are there additional services for persons who received Social Security Benefits?
4. What about a death notice in the newspaper?
5. What does "indigent" mean?
6. What does "unclaimed" mean?
7. Who can apply for this program?
8. How does one qualify for the program?
9. How is the process started?
10. I signed an agreement with the funeral home but I cannot afford the services. What do I do?
11. Who is considered next of kin?
12. How long does the process take?
13. May the family hold a funeral / memorial service?
14. What happens to the cremated / unclaimed remains?
15. Who do I pay for the cremated remains?
16. Is this information up-to-date?