Bill Summary for H 811 (2013-2014)

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Summary date: 

Apr 16 2013

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
House Bill 811 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Intro. by Boles.

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Bill summary

Deletes (d) of GS 58-58-97 (Provision of life insurance information upon notification of insured's death), which deemed a licensee or employee of a licensed funeral establishment unfit for practice for making a false request for information under this section or failing to do actions required by the statute.

Amends GS 90-210.23 to provide that the reinspection fee for funeral establishments or embalming facilities that fail to meet the article's requirements is to be based on the actual costs of reinspection after considering the salary of any employees involved and any expenses incurred during the reinspection.

Amends GS 90-210.25 to require applicants for licensure for the practice of funeral directing, for the practice of embalming, and for the practice of funeral services to have passed an exam that also includes the standards set forth in the most recent version of the Funeral Industry Practices. Allows resident trainees granted an extension of time under GS 105-249.2 to file a tax return to be given an extension of time for renewing a certificate of resident traineeship equal to the number of days that the trainee engaged in active service in the US Armed Forces is on active deployment. Allows charging a late fee of up to $50 for each work report filed after the due date. Allows the North Carolina Board of Funeral Services (Board) to revoke, suspend, or refuse to issue or renew a certificate of resident traineeship or place a trainee on probation for violations of the article or Board rules. Requires renewal of Board-issued licenses before January 1 (was, February 1) of the calendar year for which the license is to be renewed. Allows the Board to suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew the permit, place the permittee on a term of probation, or accept a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 in conjunction with a term of probation or in lieu of other disciplinary action when it finds that any person permitted to transport dead bodies has engaged in any of the 11 acts, including false or misleading advertising, failing to treat a dead body with respect, and practicing funeral directing, funeral services, or embalming without a license. Deletes the timing requirement for filing applications for funeral establishment permits. Also requires the renewal application and fee for funeral establishment permits be submitted by January 1 (was, February 1). Prohibits issuing more than one funeral establishment permit to the same building or property. Adds to the offenses for which the Board may deem an applicant for licensure or a licensee unfit to practice to include (1) failure to refund any insurance proceeds received as consideration in excess of the funeral contract purchase price within 60 days, (2) failure to provide the purchased funeral goods and services or a refund of the purchase price within a reasonable time, and (3) violation of GS 58-58-97 (Provision of life insurance information upon notification of insured's death). Makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly, willfully, or carelessly neglect, abuse, mutilate, or fail to treat with reasonable care and concern a dead body in a person's custody. Gives the Board the authority to determine the length and conditions of any period of revocation, suspension, refusal to issue or renew, or probation for resident traineeship for those allowed to transport human bodies, funeral establishment permittees, and licensees. Makes clarifying and conforming changes.

Amends GS 90-210.27A to allow suspending the requirements for preparation rooms in funeral establishments if the preparation room is damaged by fire, weather, or other natural disaster. Allows suspension for a period not to exceed 90 days, provided the establishment complies with other specified requirements and laws. Sets a chapel registration to expire on December 31 of each year, after which a late fee is also required. Allows the Board to suspend, revoke, refuse to issue or renew, or place on probation any funeral chapel registration for violations of the Article or Board rules and allows the board to determine the length and conditions of the punishment.

Amends GS 90-210.28 to make a conforming change by deleting the $100 establishment and embalming facility reinspection fee.

Amends GS 90-210.29B to provide that documents containing information collected or compiled by the Board or its inspectors or employees as a result of a complaint, investigation, audit, or interview in connection with a license application is not considered public record until the Board has taken final action.

Amends GS 90-210.61 to provide that the preneed funeral fund requirements in (a)(2), allowing up to 10% of any payments to be retained, apply to those contracts executed before January 1, 2014.

Amends GS 90-210.63(a) to provide that for preneed funeral contracts executed on or after January 1, 2014, the licensee may retain an administrative fee not to exceed 10% of the funds on deposit at the time of transfer, if the amount is agreed upon in writing. Requires any funeral establishment holding a permit that accepts the transfer of a preneed funeral contract after the death of the contract beneficiary to either (1) promptly furnish to the original contracting preneed licensee information necessary to complete the certificate of performance or (2) file the certificate of performance with the Board if a copy is concurrently mailed to the contracting preneed licensee.

Enacts new GS 90-210.63B allowing cancellation of a a preneed funeral contract by a preneed licensee if specified conditions apply, including that the value of all insurance policies does not exceed $500.

Amends GS 90-210.64(d) to increase the reference preneed funeral fund balances to $500 or less (was, $100 or less).

Amends GS 90-210.67 to allow preneed licensees to sell preneed funeral contracts, prearrangement insurance policies and make funded funeral prearrangements and requires obtaining a preneed sales license at each establishment at which the licensee sells preneed funeral contracts, preneed insurance policies, or makes funded funeral arrangements. Makes clarifying changes. Allows funeral establishments to purchase the required bond from any company authorized to sell bonds in this state or deposit $50,000 with the clerk of superior court in the county where the preneed funeral establishment maintains its facility that is licensed or applying for licensure. Provides that the bond requirement does not apply for failure to timely renew the license. Requires licenses to be renewed before January 1 (was, on or before the first day of February).

Amends GS 90-210.68 to base the reinspection fee for preneed licensees on the actual cost of the reinspection after considering the salary of any employees involved and any expenses incurred.

Amends GS 90-210.69 to allow the Board to determine the length of and conditions of any period of probation, revocation, suspension, or refusal to issue or renew a preneed license.

Amends GS 90-210.73 providing that financial information used to demonstrate solvency in connection with a required bond are not public records.

Repeals GS 90-210.80 through GS 90-210.107 (Article 13E concerning Mutual Burial Associations). Effective January 1, 2015.

Amends GS 90-210.81 deleting the provision making it the duty of the Board of Funeral Services to take charge of the books of the association that fails to comply with the specified requirements.

Enacts GS 90-210.108 prohibiting, on or after January 1, 2015, owing or operating a burial association unless the association complies with the requirements imposed on an insurance company or insurer. Violations are a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Amends GS 90-210.123 to require crematory licenses to be renewed before January 1 (was, on or before the first day of February). Allows the suspension, revocation, refusal to issue or renew a crematory license for violating the most recent version of the Funeral Industry Practices. Allows the Board to determine the length and conditions of punishment. Requires reinspection fees to take into consideration the salary of any employees involved and expenses incurred during the reinspection. Allows Board inspectors (was, Board members) to serve notice, subpoenas, and papers.

Amends GS 90-210.129 to specify that (a) applies to deaths occurring in the state. Provides that for deaths occurring outside of the state, a crematory licensee may not cremate a body without first obtaining a copy of a burial-transit permit issued by the jurisdiction where the death occurred and either (1) a death certificate from the other jurisdiction that meets the same requirements as in (a) or (2) any document or certificate required to authorize cremation in the jurisdiction where the death occurred that is signed by a physician, medical examiner, or other authorized person that contains all of the required information.

Amends GS 90-210.132 to add hydrolysis to the crematory fee schedule and removes the $100 reinspection fee. Enacts new GS 90-210.136 to require licensure before hydrolyzing human remains. Provides that except as otherwise provided, the license for the hydrolysis of human remains has the same requirements and fees as licensing of crematories, and the Board has the same powers over hydrolysis licensees as over the practice of cremation. Provides for the disposal of remaining residue or remains, and for the containment of remains.

Amends GS 130A-415 to provide that a body is deemed unclaimed if either (1) no person notifies the person in possession of the dead body within 10 days form the date of death that he wishes to dispose of the body, or (2) all persons expressing interest in arranging for disposition of the body have cased communicating with the person in possession of the body for five days, at least 10 days have passed from the date of death, and the person in possession of the body has used reasonable efforts to contact all persons interested in arranging final disposition. Make conforming changes. Provides that when the Commission of Anatomy declines to receive a body, the person in possession of the body must verify that (1) the body is unclaimed, (2) the person has made reasonable efforts to inform relatives or others of the death, and (3) the Commission has declined to take possession. Provides that no person, corporation, or other business enterprise, county or municipality, or any employee or agent thereof, is liable in damages for failing to comply with the requirements of the statute, except in cases involved fraud, deceit, or gross negligence.

Amends GS 130A-420 to provide that the guardian of the person has the authority to direct the final disposition of the remains of the ward through authorized methods, if executed before the death of the ward, unless expressly prohibited by the order of appointment. Provides that once the burial of an individual is completed, the method and location of disposition may not be changed unless otherwise authorized by law or by a court order showing good cause.

Effective January 1, 2014.