The questions we have chosen to represent our Frequently asked questions page are resourced from the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services of the State of Florida.

If you have additional questions, please contact one of our Licensed Funeral Directors.

 

No, Florida does not require embalming.

A body must be embalmed or refrigerated within 24 hours of death. 

Cash advance items are services or merchandise a funeral home will obtain from a third party to provide for the purchaser. (Flowers, airline tickets, death certificates, etc.).

A funeral home must disclose if they will collect a fee for providing the cash advance items. 

A funeral director licensed in Florida. 

Yes

A Direct Disposal Establishment 

No 

The county office of the Department of Vital Statistics. 

The registrar of the district in which death occurs issues a burial transit permit. The local registrar is not authorized to issue the permit if any questions remain regarding the cause of death. The burial transit permit tells the cemetery that the registrar that has authorized the burial. 

The funeral director who first assumes custody of a dead body or fetus must obtain a burial transit permit prior to the final disposition and within 5 days of death. The application for a burial transit permit must be signed by the funeral director and include the funeral director’s license number. 

No. 

Ashes can be spread on any Florida lands, but not in any Florida fresh water.

Check with the Department of Environmental Protection for additional information.

Check with your landlord or condo association if applicable.

It is possible that spreading ashes on private property could be construed as establishing a cemetery. 

The United States Coast Guard, issues permits for burial at sea within the three mile limit. 

If you are not selling a pre-need service, there is no restriction. Check with the United States Coast Guard for permits. 

All sellers of pre-need funeral and cemetery merchandise and/or services are required to be licensed by the State of Florida.

All pre need contracts must be secured by one of the following:

(1) A trust account

(2) A letter of credit

(3) An individual insurance policy

The contract will state the method of security the company is utilizing.

Trust monies are under the control of an authorized trustee.

The Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services conducts regular examinations of the books, accounts and records of the licensed companies to ensure that all trusting requirements are met.

If a funeral home or cemetery goes out of business the Pre-need Funeral Contract Consumer Protection Trust Fund will honor a claim to ensure fulfillment of the contract at the time of need, if another company is not found to fulfill the contract. 

A pre-need contract should have a cancellation clause in the contract. A contract is subject to the law at the time the contract was written. Since October 1, 1993 all contracts for burial spaces, burial and funeral merchandise and services are 100% refundable in the first 30 days of the contract if the consumer requests a refund in writing.

Services and cash advances may be canceled at anytime for 100% of the contract price paid .

After the first 30 days, pre-need contracts written since 10/01/1993 allow for a specific item or items of merchandise to be fully refunded only if the licensee cannot or does not deliver the merchandise as required in the contract. A licensee that is willing and capable of delivering the purchased merchandise is not required to make a refund.

A purchaser does reserve the right to sell the merchandise if he or she so desires. 

Call the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services regarding refunds involving contracts written prior to June 1988.

June 1988 to October 1, 1993, no refund is due unless the consumer can within the first year of execution of the contract show an intentional violation of the provision which relates to the negotiation, sale or performance of the contract. 

For contracts written by funeral establishments and direct disposers for funeral merchandise and services prior to October 1, 1993, the refund requirement varies by the year in which the contract was written.

• 1977 = 100% plus 6% of the contract amount paid.

• 1978 - 1993 =100% of the contract amount paid 

A cemetery is not required to cancel and refund a burial right, after the initial 30-day contract cancellation period.

Check the terms of the contract for any language that would make the refund policy different than required by statute.

Many companies have a nationwide network and may be able to honor the contract in another state.

You have the right to resell the burial space. If the cemetery does not choose to repurchase the burial right you can advertise the space(s) for sale or contract with a licensed broker of burial rights, to find a buyer.

If you hire a broker of burial rights you should carefully read and understand the terms of the brokerage agreement before signing it. 

No, any accumulated earnings on a pre-need contract are paid to the licensee. 

In many instances the company may have just changed its name or sold its pre-need contracts to another company. Contact the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services at (850) 413-3039 to determine if there has been a change in name or ownership.

If the company sold its pre-need contracts to another business your contract would retain the same terms as the when it was written.

If your contract was not assigned to another pre-need company the purchaser can choose a company for at need services and the company can file a claim with the Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services for fulfillment of any funds not trusted up to the amount paid on the original contract.

If there was a problem with proper trusting by the company in question the consumer can file a claim with the Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services for payment from the Preneed Contract Consumer Protection Trust Fund. The Board does not authorize refunds of contracts for payment from the fund but will pay for merchandise and services included for in the contract up to the retail amount of the contract, at the time of need. 

You can receive a claim form by contacting the Division of Funeral, Cemetery & Consumer Services at (850) 413-3039. Or go to http://www.myfloridacfo.com/FuneralCemetery/ for more information.

An irrevocable contract is written only for people who are qualified applicants for, or recipients of, supplemental security income, temporary assistance under the WAGES program or Medicaid. Once the contract is signed it cannot be canceled and refunded. It is a means for a person or family to set aside a portion of their assets for future burial and funeral services. The amount of the irrevocable contract will not be counted as an asset when the person applies for aid.

The local Medicaid office can answer additional questions about this subject. 

Most contracts for funeral and cemetery merchandise have language limiting the liability of the seller for delivery delays caused by acts of war, acts of God or any such cause beyond the control of the cemetery or funeral home. 

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Let Us Help You ... Masters Funeral Home, P.A.
3015 Crill Avenue
Palatka, Florida 32177
(386) 325-4564
Highway 20
Interlachen, Florida 32148
(386) 684-4177
Toll Free: 1-888-889-2946
info@themastersfuneralhomes.com