Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General


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;

(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.

(3) "Authorizing agent" means a person legally entitled to order the final disposition of human remains, including burial, cremation, entombment, donation to medical science, or other means. The order of preference for an authorizing agent is subject to the priority of rights of disposition established in 37-19-904.

(4) "Board" means the board of funeral service provided for in 2-15-1743.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

(9) "Columbarium" means a room or space in a building or structure used or intended to be used for the interment of cremated remains.

(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.

(11) "Cremation" means the technical process, using heat, that reduces human remains to bone fragments. The reduction takes place through heat and evaporation.

(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.

(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.

(14) "Crematory" means the building or portion of a building that houses the cremation chamber and the holding facility.

(15) "Crematory operator" means the person in charge of the licensed crematory facility.

(16) "Crematory technician" means an employee of a crematory facility who is trained to perform cremations and is licensed by the board.

(17) "Crypt" means a chamber of sufficient size to inter the remains of a deceased person.

(18) "Department" means the department of labor and industry provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 17.

(19) "Embalming" means:

(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 gases ordinarily intended for that use by introducing the chemical substances, fluids, or gases into the body by vascular or hypodermic injection or by direct introduction into the organs or cavities; and

(c) restorative art.

(20) "Funeral directing" includes:

(a) supervising funerals;

(b) the making of preneed or at-need contractual arrangements for funerals;

(c) preparing dead bodies for burial, other than by embalming;

(d) maintaining a mortuary for the preparation, disposition, or care of dead human bodies; and

(e) representing to the public that one is a funeral director.

(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.

(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.

(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 on the training, experience, judgment, and professional development of the intern.

(25) "Lot" or "grave space" means a space in a cemetery used or intended to be used for interment.

(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.

(27) "Mortician" means a person licensed under this chapter to practice mortuary science.

(28) (a) "Mortuary" means a place of business 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.

(29) "Mortuary science" means the profession or practice of funeral directing and embalming.

(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.

(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 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.

(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.

(34) "Urn" means a receptacle designed to permanently encase the cremated remains.

History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 41, L. 1963; amd. Sec. 260, Ch. 350, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 66-2701; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 274, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 298, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 38, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 52, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 336, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 128, Ch. 483, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 40, Ch. 126, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 208, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 49, L. 2019.