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HOUSE BILL NO. 153
INTRODUCED BY D. HEDGES
BY REQUEST OF THE BOARD OF FUNERAL SERVICE
AN ACT REVISING THE LAWS GOVERNING FUNERAL SERVICES; DEFINING "ARRANGEMENTS", "AT-NEED ARRANGEMENTS", "BRANCH ESTABLISHMENT", "INTERN", AND "PRENEED ARRANGEMENTS"; MODIFYING THE DEFINITION OF "AUTHORIZING AGENT", "EMBALMING", AND "MORTUARY"; REQUIRING THE RECORDING OF THE SALE OF BURIAL PLOTS WITH THE COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER; ESTABLISHING FUNERAL PLAN TRUSTS; AMENDING SECTIONS 37-19-101 AND 37-19-824, MCA; AND REPEALING SECTIONS 37-19-826, 72-37-101, 72-37-102, 72-37-103, AND 72-37-104, MCA.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 37-19-101, MCA, is amended to read:
"37-19-101. Definitions. Unless the context requires otherwise, in this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Arrangements" includes:
(a) planning the details of funeral service, including time of service, type of service, and, if requested, acquiring the services of clergy;
(b) obtaining the necessary information for filing death certificates and obtaining burial-transit permits;
(c) comparing or discussing prices, including merchandise prices and financial arrangements; and
(d) providing for onsite direction and coordination of participants and onsite direction, coordination, and facilitation at funeral, graveside, or memorial services or rites.
(2) "At-need" arrangements means arrangements made by an authorized person on behalf of a deceased.
(1)(3) "Authorizing agent" means a person legally entitled to order the cremation final disposition, including burial,
cremation, entombment, donation to medical science, or other means, of human remains. An authorizing agent is, in order
(a) a spouse;
(b) a majority of adult children;
(c) a parent;
(d) a close relative of the deceased; or
(e) in the absence of a person or persons listed in subsections (1)(a) through (1)(d), a personal representative, a public administrator, the deceased through a preneed authorization, or others as designated by board rule.
(2)(4) "Board" means the board of funeral service provided for in 2-15-1853.
(5) "Branch establishment" means a separate facility that may or may not have a suitable visitation room or preparation room and that is owned by, a subsidiary of, or otherwise financially connected to or controlled by a licensed mortuary.
(3)(6) "Cemetery" means any land or structure in this state dedicated to and used or intended to be used for interment of
cremated remains or human remains. It may be any one or a combination of a burial park for earth interments, a mausoleum
for crypt or niche interments, or a columbarium. (4)(7) "Cemetery company" means an individual, partnership, corporation, or association that:
(a) owns or controls cemetery lands or property and conducts the business of a cemetery; or
(b) applies to the board to own or control cemetery lands or property and conduct the business of a cemetery.
(5)(8) "Closed container" means a container in which cremated remains can be placed and enclosed in a manner that
prevents leakage or spillage of cremated remains or entrance of foreign material. (6)(9) "Columbarium" means a room or space in a building or structure used or intended to be used for the interment of
cremated remains. (7)(10) "Cremated remains" means all human remains recovered after the completion of the cremation, including
pulverization that leaves only bone fragments reduced to unidentifiable dimensions. (8)(11) "Cremation" means the technical process, using heat, that reduces human remains to bone fragments. The
reduction takes place through heat and evaporation. (9)(12) "Cremation chamber" means the enclosed space within which the cremation process takes place. Cremation
chambers of crematoriums licensed by this chapter must be used exclusively for the cremation of human remains. (10)(13) "Cremation container" means the container in which the human remains are placed in the cremation chamber
for a cremation. A cremation container must meet substantially all of the following standards:
(a) be composed of readily combustible materials suitable for cremation;
(b) be able to be closed in order to provide a complete covering for the human remains;
(c) be resistant to leakage and spillage;
(d) be rigid enough for handling with ease; and
(e) be able to provide protection for the health, safety, and integrity of crematory personnel.
(11)(14) "Crematory" means the building or portion of a building that houses the cremation chamber and the holding
facility. (12)(15) "Crematory operator" means the person in charge of the licensed crematory facility. (13)(16) "Crematory technician" means an employee of a crematory facility who is trained to perform cremations and is
licensed by the board. (14)(17) "Crypt" means a chamber of sufficient size to inter the remains of a deceased person. (15)(18) "Department" means the department of commerce provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 18. (16)(19) "Embalming" means: the preservation and disinfection of the dead human body by application of chemicals,
externally, internally, or both.
(a) obtaining burial or removal permits or assuming other duties incidental to the practice of embalming;
(b) disinfecting and preserving or attempting to preserve dead human bodies in their entirety or in parts by the use of chemical substances, fluids, or gasses ordinarily intended for that use by introducing the chemical substances, fluids, or gasses into the body by vascular or hypodermic injection or by direct introduction into the organs or cavities; and
(c) restorative art.
(17)(20) "Funeral directing" includes:
(a) supervising funerals
(b) the making of preneed or at-need contractual arrangements for funerals;
(b)(c) preparing dead bodies for burial, other than by embalming; (c)(d) maintaining a mortuary for the preparation, disposition, or care of dead human bodies; and (d)(e) representing to the public that one is a funeral director. (18)(21) "Holding facility" means an area within or adjacent to the crematory facility designated for the retention of
human remains prior to cremation that must:
(a) comply with any applicable public health law;
(b) preserve the dignity of the human remains;
(c) recognize the health, safety, and integrity of the crematory operator and crematory personnel; and
(d) be secure from access by anyone other than authorized personnel.
(19)(22) "Human remains" means the body of a deceased person or part of a body or limb that has been removed from a
living person, including the body, part of a body, or limb in any stage of decomposition. (20)(23) "Interment" means any lawful disposition of cremated remains or human remains.
(24) (a) "Intern" means a person who has met the educational and testing requirements for a license to practice mortuary science in Montana, has been licensed by the board as an intern and is engaged in the practice of mortuary science under the supervision of a licensed mortician.
(b) For the purposes of this subsection (24), "supervision" means the extent of oversight that a mortician believes an intern requires based upon the training, experience, judgment, and professional development of the intern.
(21)(25) "Lot" or "grave space" means a space in a cemetery used or intended to be used for interment. (22)(26) "Mausoleum" means a community-type room or space in a building or structure used or intended to be used for
the interment of human remains in crypts or niches. (23)(27) "Mortician" means a person licensed under this chapter to practice mortuary science. (24)(28) (a) "Mortuary" means a place of business used for the care and preparation for burial or transportation of dead
human bodies or a place where a person represents that the person is engaged in the profession of mortuary science or
funeral directing licensed by the board, located in a building or portion of a building having a specific street address or
location, containing but not limited to a suitable room for viewing or visitation and a preparation room, and devoted
exclusively to activities that are related to the preparation and arrangements for funerals, transportation, burial, or other
disposition of dead human bodies.
(b) The term includes conducting activities from the place of business referred to in subsection (28)(a) that are incidental, convenient, or related to the preparation of funeral or memorial services or rites or the transportation, burial, cremation, or other disposition of dead human bodies in any area where those activities may be conducted.
(25)(29) "Mortuary science" means the profession or practice of funeral directing and embalming. (26)(30) "Niche" means a space in a columbarium or mausoleum used or intended to be used for the interment of the
cremated remains or human remains of one or more deceased persons. (27)(31) "Perpetual care and maintenance" means continual and proper maintenance of cemetery buildings, grounds, and
lots or grave spaces.
(32) "Preneed arrangements" means arrangements made with a licensed funeral director or licensed mortician by a person on the person's own behalf or by an authorized individual on the person's behalf prior to the death of the person.
(28)(33) "Temporary container" means a receptacle for cremated remains that is usually made of cardboard, plastic film,
or similar material designed to hold the cremated remains until an urn or other permanent container is acquired. (29)(34) "Urn" means a receptacle designed to permanently encase the cremated remains."
Section 2. Section 37-19-824, MCA, is amended to read:
"37-19-824. Conveyance. (1) An instrument of conveyance
or deed for a lot, grave space, mausoleum, crypt, niche, or
burial right or part of a lot or grave space must be issued to the purchaser upon complete payment of the purchase price.
(2) Only a cemetery company or its agents may sell or convey the items listed in subsection (1). However, an owner may sell the item if the owner has first offered in writing to sell it to the cemetery company at the purchase price then being charged by the cemetery company for a similar item and the cemetery company has not accepted the offer within 30 days of the offer.
(3) (a) The secretary or other responsible person of a cemetery company shall file and record in the cemetery company's
books all instruments of conveyance
(b) An instrument of conveyance must be recorded by the cemetery company in the office of the county clerk and recorder and returned to the purchaser.
(4) An instrument of conveyance
or deed must be signed on behalf of a cemetery company by the person having proper
authority to sign the instrument of conveyance or deed."
Section 3. Contract for prearranged funeral plan or related services -- trust requirement -- interest -- exception. (1) Prearranged funeral or related services may be presented, negotiated, and sold to the public only by a licensed funeral director or licensed mortician.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (4), all money paid pursuant to a contract for a prearranged funeral or related services must be held in trust for the purposes for which it was furnished until the obligations of a funeral director, embalmer, cemetery firm, or mausoleum-columbarium corporation have been fulfilled according to the terms of the contract or, by mutual consent of the parties, until the money is refunded to the proper party.
(3) Any interest accrued by money in a trust must be held in the trust and is subject to the terms of the trust agreement.
(4) Money paid for the purchase of a lot, grave space, mausoleum, crypt, niche, or burial right or part of a lot or grave space is not subject to the trust requirements of this section if title passes to the purchaser at the time that the payment is made.
Section 4. Trust fund -- deposit of money. (1) (a) A party that provides services pursuant to a contract for a prearranged funeral or related services and that receives money under the contract shall deposit the money within 3 business days of receipt in a banking institution or invest the money in the stock of a savings or building and loan association or in the shares of a credit union.
(b) The banking institution, savings or building and loan association, or credit union must have its principal place of business in this state and must be organized under the laws of this state or of the United States.
(c) Deposits or investments made as provided in this section must be insured by an instrumentality of the federal government.
(2) Deposits or investments made pursuant to this section constitute a trust fund for the benefit of the person contracting for the prearranged funeral or related services. The money must be placed in a separate account in the name of the depositor as trustee for the person contracting for the prearranged funeral or related services.
Section 5. Report of entity holding deposited money. A banking institution, savings or building and loan association, or credit union shall report to the department prior to February 1 of each year all amounts that it has received and held in trust accounts created as provided in [section 4]. The report must contain the name and address of each trustee and trust beneficiary and must contain the amount of principal in each account and the amount of interest or dividends paid on each account.
Section 6. Repealer. Sections 37-19-826, 72-37-101, 72-37-102, 72-37-103, and 72-37-104, MCA, are repealed.
Section 7. Codification instruction. [Sections 3 through 5] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 37, chapter 19, part 8, and the provisions of Title 37, chapter 19, part 8, apply to [sections 3 through 5].
- END -
Latest Version of HB 153 (HB0153.ENR)
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