In May 2017 the Shenandoah Valley Funeral Directors Association hosted a round table discussion of issues facing the industry. Not only were there funeral directors in attendance, but also five of the legislators who represent the members attended. There were three major topics discussed at this meeting, one of which was a need for Virginia to institute a Hierarchy or Order of Succession with regard to the Next of Kin. One funeral home in particular brought two examples to the meeting of issues they have encountered which could have easily been solved by having a defined Next of Kin law. While convenient, the current law in Virginia is full of gray area and ambiguity. As is common practice for the VFDA when a major issue arises, the legislative committee has begun to address this issue and how to implement some sort of law. In the late summer/fall of 2017 there were two conference calls held and some spirited debate from both sides of the issue. As a committee we decided to lay over the issue until after the 2018 General Assembly session concluded. The time has now come to re-visit the discussion and as the spring progresses, there will be further discussion.
The law from the State of Georgia is attached or follow the link here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/CFSV2/fileuploads/4946/Georgia_Law_Right_of_Final_Disposition.pdf
This law spells out in great detail the order of succession and addresses the potential issues a funeral home could face when a dispute arises. While we understand that at times having a Next of Kin law may delay some services until a dispute can be resolved, our hope and intention that as the families we serve become more and more disjointed and have disagreements more often, that this law will give our industry in this state the backbone it needs. Also included in this model law, is a designee agreement for your usage. There are some small details we will need to “clean up” to make it fit for Virginia, but so far the law in Georgia seems to be the best. I hope that during the business meeting of all the local associations at your next meeting you can discuss this topic as well and provide feedback to the VFDA office at email@example.com.
Jay McIntyre, VFDA Legislative Chair
McMullen Funeral Home, Harrisonburg
540.833.2891 – Office
540.421.6585 – Cell
VFDA Legislative Updates for March, 2018
VFDA Legislative Updates for February, 2018
2018 VFDA Legislative Bill Tracking
HB379 Habeeb Chief Medical Examiner, Office of; collection of fees.
SB143 Spruill Mortuary science education; practical experience required.
SB959 McDougle Disposition of unclaimed dead body; final orders of transportation and disposition.
SB309 Cosgrove Electronic Death Registration System; implementation
HB1158 Wilt Death certificates; medical certification; electronic filing; hospice.
Oppose: SB881 Spruill Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers; membership.
Support: SB357 McClellan Death certificates; electronic filing required.
Monitor: SB831 Reeves Practice of funeral services; sale of certain items.
Monitor: HB1172 Pillion Overdose death review teams.
Monitor: HB1071 Heretick Health regulatory boards; electronic notice of license renewal.
EYES ON RICHMOND
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Text of proposed regulations promulgated by the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers regarding clarification of permission to embalm and refrigeration of human remains. The proposed regulations will be published on December 25, 2017, in The Virginia Register of Regulations.
The Public Comment period for these proposed regulations will begin on December 25, 2017, and end on February 23, 2018.
A public hearing on these proposed regulations has also been scheduled for January 16, 2018, at 10:05 a.m., at the Department of Health Professions, 9960 Mayland Drive, Second Floor Conference Center, Board Room 2, Henrico, VA 23233.
Please provide any comment directly through the Virginia Regulatory Townhall, directly to Corie Tillman Wolf, Executive Director, or to Elaine Yeatts, Senior Policy Analyst, or in-person at the public hearing noted above.
VFDA and MSV Joint Newsletter – October 2017
Social Security Administration is changing the process of filing SSA-721 Statement of Death by Funeral Director.
Funeral Service Bills Effective July 1, 2017
SB1048: Death certificate; amendments other than correction of information.
HB2276: Death certificate; amendments other than correction of information.
HB1846: Death certificates; filing.
Item 291 #c that requires state funded teaching hospitals to become fully compliant with EDRS by April 15, 2018.
Please click here to find the March 2017 Legislative Newsletter and Update