October 2011 –
Military members should be aware that the handling of their remains as laid out in the Virtual Record of Emergency Data may not control in all jurisdictions. There are a limited number of jurisdictions that have discounted the decedent's intentions as expressed in the VRED.
All military members should update the Virtual Record of Emergency Data to coincide with their Last Will and Testament, their prepaid funeral contract, or their Power of Attorney for the Control and Disposition of Remains.
Under South Carolina law, the surviving spouse has a primary right to possess and control the burial/cremation of their spouse, unless the decedent has by Last Will and Testament or otherwise made a different disposition.
If members have specific questions with regard to this matter, please make an appointment with a Judge Advocate at the Charleston Law Center at 963-5502 for clarification.