Section 77.7 - Funeral directing

77.7 Funeral directing.

(a) A funeral director, undertaker or embalmer shall not permit any unlicensed person to engage in or take charge of the activities for which a license to engage in the business or practice of funeral directing, undertaking or embalming is required by the provisions of the Public Health Law.

(1) A licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker or a registered resident shall be present and personally supervise and arrange for the removal or transfer of each dead human body from the place where death occurs, or from the place where it is released to him/her by the family or other legal authority.

(2) A licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker or a registered resident shall be present and personally supervise the conduct of each funeral service.

(3) Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting religious supervision of the funeral service by a member or members of the clergy designated by the family of the deceased person.

(4) A licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker or a registered resident shall, unless prevented by the rules or documented practices of the cemetery, be present and personally supervise the interment, delivery to and acceptance by crematory personnel at the crematory, or the pickup from or the delivery to a common carrier, of a dead human body.

(5) No person other than a duly licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker shall make or be permitted to make arrangements on behalf of any funeral director, undertaker or funeral firm with a customer or customer's designee:

(i) for temporary or final entombment, or cremation, disinterment, reinterment or other lawful disposition of a dead human body;

(ii) for the care, preparation, shipment or transportation of a dead human body; or

(iii) for the purchase, sale or rental of funeral merchandise, services or paraphernalia.

The taking of preliminary information over the telephone by an unlicensed person shall not be construed as the making of funeral arrangements under this section.

(b) (1) In no case shall a dead human body be released from any hospital, institution or other place where the death occurred or from the place where the body is held by legal authority to any person not a duly licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker or a registered resident.

(2) Every person, including, although not limited to, a person in charge of a hospital, institution, or place where a person has died, having lawful possession, charge, custody or control of a dead human body, shall request the person seeking to obtain the release of said body and acting as, for, or in behalf of a funeral director or funeral firm, to produce his/her current certificate of registration, showing that he/she is personally entitled to practice as a funeral director, undertaker or registered resident.

(c) Every person, including a person acting lawfully in an emergency, in charge of a cemetery, crematory, vault or other place to which a dead human body is brought for temporary or permanent disposition shall require the person in charge of such body to identify himself /herself as a duly licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker or as a registered resident and to produce his/her current certificate of registration as such. .

(d) In the event such burial or other disposition is not in the charge of a duly licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker or a registered resident, the person in charge of the cemetery, crematory, vault or other place where dead human bodies are brought for temporary or permanent disposition shall immediately submit to the Department of Health the name and address of the person who had charge of the body at the time of burial or other disposition and the name and address of the funeral director, undertaker, registered resident or funeral firm for which such person was acting.

(e) In the event that a person other than a duly licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker shall make any arrangements for the purchase, sale or rental of funeral merchandise, services or paraphernalia accompanied by the representative of a decedent at a casket showroom, display room or other facility, the owner or manager of such facility shall immediately notify the Department of Health of the name and address of the person and of the funeral director, undertaker or funeral firm for which such person was acting.

(f) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to require that a mere transporter, to whom or to which a dead human body has been duly released for the sole purpose of transportation or transfer, shall be a duly licensed and registered funeral director or undertaker or a registered resident.

(g) A funeral director, undertaker or funeral firm entering another state or a province of the Dominion of Canada, personally or by an agent or employee, pursuant to a reciprocal agreement between the State Commissioner of Health and such state or province, shall not violate any statute, code, rule or regulation of such state or province relating to the practice of funeral directing, undertaking or the equivalent thereof.

(h) A registered resident may only render the services described in this section under the supervision of the sponsor for his/her registration. A registered resident shall not have the authority to sign any form or document required by law which requires the signature of a licensed funeral director, or to make funeral arrangements or to own or manage a funeral firm.

Effective Date: 
Wednesday, October 7, 1998
Doc Status: 
Complete