AMEND PRACTICE OF FUNERAL SERVICE LAWS.

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
House Bill 811 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 10, 2013
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT AMENDING THE LAWS PERTAINING TO THE PRACTICE OF FUNERAL SERVICE.
Intro. by Boles.

Status: Re-ref Com On Finance (House Action) (May 9 2013)
H 811

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 9 2013 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Amends GS 90-210.23, Powers and duties of the Board, providing 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, but will not exceed $300 per reinspection (previously, no fee limit was included). Creates new GS 90-210.23(e2), which provides that if, after any inspection, a funeral establishment is found to have required documents that are not in compliance, the Board can charge a reinspection fee, which cannot exceed $25 per submission, to determine whether the documents are in compliance.

    Amends GS 90-210.25, Licensing, making technical changes to statute citations and a typographical change.

    Amends GS 90-210.25(a)(5)(a2), making technical changes.  Adds new criteria to established criteria that allows a licensee to practice funeral directing or funeral service without owning, being employed by, or being an agent of a licensed funeral establishment, to include (1) obtaining and maintaining professional liability insurance with limits of at least $1 million, with specified requirements for submitting proof of the insurance and notifying the Board of any change to such insurance and (2) providing funeral directing services to no more than two funeral establishments, with a requirement to submit identifying information of the establishments to the Board annually, with any changes due to the Board within 30 days of change.

    Makes a clarifying change to GS 90-210.25(a)(5)(d)(5).

    Creates new GS 90-210.25(a)(5)(d)(6), in regards to establishment permits, providing that a funeral establishment cannot contract or affiliate with more than two licensees which are permitted under GS 90-210.25(a2)(2). Also requires any funeral establishment that contracts with such a licensee to report specified information to the Board, with any changes to the submitted information due to the Board within 30 days of the change occurring.

    Makes a clarifying change to GS 90-210.25(a)(5)(e)(p).

    Amends GS 90-210.25(a)(5)(f), in regards to unlawful practices, providing that any person who knowingly or willfully abuses (previously, also included carelessly neglects), mutilates, or fails to treat with reasonable care (previously, also included concern) a dead human body in a person's custody will be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

    Amends GS 90-210.27A, which allows the suspension of 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 180 days (was, 90 days), provided the establishment complies with other specified requirements and laws. Establishes that in order to receive a suspension of more than 90 days, the applicant will have to show good cause for the additional time. Provides that, in regards to chapel registration, a registrant will have to, on or after January 1 for which the chapel is to be registered, pay a late fee in addition to the fee to register the chapel, if registration is not already paid.  Also establishes liability insurance requirements for funeral establishments, which must have limits of at least $1 million. Sets out other requirements regarding the maintaining of liability insurance.  Establishes that human remains must be stored in a licensed funeral establishment or licensed crematory when the remains are not in transit for visitation or funeral service.

    Amends GS 90-210.28, Fees, establishing a Funeral Industry Practices document reinspection fee of $25.

    Amends GS 90-210.29B, Exemptions from public records, providing 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 licensee, permitee, or registrant or any application (previously, only included licensee) for a license, permit, or registration is not considered public record until the Board has taken final action.

    Amends GS 90-210.63(a)(4), providing that any funeral establishment holding a permit that accepts the transfer of a preneed funeral contract after the death of the contract beneficiary must file the certificate of performance with the Board and mail a copy to the contracting preneed licensee. Sets out requirements in cases where the funeral contract is performed in another state.

    Amends GS 90-210.64(d), increasing the applicable preneed funeral fund balances to $1,000 or less (was, $500 in previous edition).

    Amends GS 90-210.67, providing that a preneed sales licensee may sell preneed funeral contracts, prearrangement insurance policies, and make funded funeral prearrangements only on behalf of one preneed funeral establishment licensee; provided, however, the preneed sales licensee may also sell preneed funeral contracts or preneed insurance policies at any preneed establishment owned by the same corporation or at two or more preneed establishments owned by different individuals, corporations, or business entities located within a 30-mile radius.

    Enacts new GS 90-210.68(a2), establishing that in January 2015, and each subsequent January, preneed licensees must prepare and submit an annual report to the Board on its preneed funeral contract sales and performance of preneed funeral contracts.

    Deletes GS 90-210.69(c)(3), which previously established that a conviction involving a crime of fraud or moral turpitude could be used by the Board as a basis to refuse to issue or renew a license, or to suspend or revoke a license.

    Amends GS 90-210.123, Licensing and inspection, providing that an owner of a cremation facility must be a licensed funeral director or funeral service licensee. Establishes that any crematory inspected and found to not meet all of the requirements of this Article must pay a reinspection fee for each additional inspection. Reinspection fee cannot exceed $300 per reinspection. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.

    Enacts new GS 90-210.123(f1), providing that a crematory must sell or offer only cremation services, including the making of preneed cremation arrangements, or sell or offer containers, urns, and other cremation merchandise through a person licensed by the Board to practice funeral directing or funeral service who is an owner, employee, or agent of the crematory.

    Amends GS 90-210.124(b), providing in what circumstances the director of social services becomes vested with all interests and rights to a dead body. Establishes that the director must authorize and arrange for disposition, including cremation, of the body.

    Amends GS 90-210.129, providing that for any death occurring in North Carolina certified by the attending physician or other person authorized by law to sign a death certificate under the supervision of a physician, the body will not be cremated before the crematory licensee receives a death certificate signed by the person authorized to sign the death certificate. Provides exceptions to the prohibitions on cremating more than one person in the same cremation chamber.

    Amends GS 90-210.132(a), making a clarifying change.

    Amends GS 130A-415(a), exempting licensed funeral directors or funeral service licensees in North Carolina from the provisions of this subsection. Enacts new GS 130A-415(j), requiring funeral directors or funeral service licensees in North Carolina, with physical possession of a dead body, to make reasonable efforts to contact relatives of the deceased or other persons who might wish to claim the body for final disposition. Sets out procedures and responsibilities to follow if the body remains unclaimed. Makes conforming changes.

    Enacts new GS 130A-420(b1), establishing that a person who does not exercise his or her right to dispose of the decedent's body under subsection (b) of this section within five days' notice or 10 days from the date of death, whichever is earlier, is deemed to have waived his or her right to authorize disposition of the decedent's body or to contest disposition. Sets out who retains authority of decedent's body in the case of a waiver occurring.

    Effective December 1, 2013 (was, Section 15 effective January 1, 2015, with the remainder effective January 1, 2014).


  • Summary date: Apr 16 2013 - More information

    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.

     


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