Next of Kin Hierarchy
In order to qualify as next of kin in this situation, a person must be over 18 years old. The relationships listed below usually apply to biological, adoptive, half-, and step-relations equally.
•Nieces and nephews
•Grand-nieces and grand-nephews
•Aunts and uncles
•Great-grandchildren of Grandparents
•Fiduciary (a legally appointed trustee)
In some states, a close friend who is familiar with the deceased’s wishes may qualify as next of kin if no one on the above list is available or able.
Ex-Parte Orders: https://www.courts.ca.gov/cms/rules/index.cfm?title=five&linkid=rule5_151
Are there any Social Security Death Benefits to help cover the cost of a funeral?
There is a $255 lump sum Social Security death benefit that those who qualify can claim. This one-off payment of $255 is made to a surviving spouse or child. Monthly benefits may be available if one meets eligibility requirements. You can contact Social Security on 1-800-772-1213 www.socialsecurity.gov
Do Veteran’s receive benefits to assist with funeral costs?
A veteran is entitled to free burial in a national cemetery. This includes gravesite, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care for an honorably discharged veteran, spouse, or dependent child and a free headstone or grave marker.
Contact the Veteran’s Affairs Office on 1-800-827-1000 for more information.