Legislative Updates - By State

co-govt
A series of updates on recent legislative action, around the country:

Colorado
Information on HB09-1058 “Abandoned Military Remains Disposition” and HB09-1054 “UI Award Military Death Surviving Spouse” can be found on our “Grief & Loss in the Military” page by clicking here. Both bills passed and were signed into law. Download a PDF copy of this law here.

HB09-1287 “
Colorado Probate Code” has been updated and become law. Here are some the topics it addresses: inflation adjustment, intestate (dying without a will) succession, gestational agreements (surrogates or sperm donors), revises electives shares of a spouse, and allows a will to have been notarized instead of the currently required signatures of two witnesses. Download a PDF copy of this law here.

HB0-1198 "Uniform Power of Attorney Act" as drafted by the national conference of commissioners on uniform state law and repeals the "Uniform Statutory Form Power of Attorney Act". This is a long bill, 74 pages, and the Colorado Bar Association won’t have their summaries of it available for 3 weeks. We will bring you the summary in our next newsletter as this topic is of extreme importance to those serving as a POA for a loved one, as well as end of life professionals. Download a PDF copy of this law here.


HB09-1202 “Mortuary Science Registration” is waiting to be signed by Governor Ritter on June 4, 2009. Here are the highlights: Requires funeral establishments and crematories to be registered and a person in charge be named to as a contact person for the Department of Regulatory Agencies. It prohibits a person from calling themselves a mortuary science practitioner without having a mortuary science degree, passing the national board examination, and 2,000 hours of experience in the field; a funeral director requires 2,000 hours of experience and 50 funerals or graveside services directed; an embalmer requires 4,000 hours of experience and the embalming of at least 50 dead human bodies; a cremationist requires 500 hours of experience and the cremation of 100 dead human bodies. This is title protection only; there is no registration or licensure of these individuals. The Colorado Funeral Service Board will continue their voluntary certification program as usual. (www.cofda.org) Download a PDF copy of this law here.

The consumer protection portion of the bill allows for standards of practice regarding embalming, transportation, and cremation. This bill is a supplement to, not a replacement of the current Mortuary Science Code, CRS 12-54-101 through 109.

Montana
HB386 “Right of Disposition Act” becomes law October 1, 2009. It allows a consumer to put their final wishes in writing with the funeral home and they must be carried out by the next of kin. The bill includes a priority of disposition rights (spouse, children, parents, siblings) and a resolution if there is conflict between the parties about the disposition. Download a PDF copy of this law here.

Oregon
SB796 regarding death care was introduced on May 8th, has passed the Senate, and is now in the House. The Oregon State Legislature does not have a set end date, but usually runs about 6 months.

In part this bill requires death care consultants to be licensed by State Mortuary and Cemetery Board. It requires facilities for final disposition of human remains, other than cemeteries and crematoriums, to obtain a certificate of authority from the board. It modifies procedures by which a licensed funeral practitioner disposes of an unclaimed body of a deceased person, including procedures by which funeral practitioner transfers body to certain institutions for educational or research purposes. In addition, it imposes requirements relating to burials on private lands. Finally, it expands the definition of the word “cemetery” to include scattering gardens and cenotaphs.
Download a PDF copy of this law here.


Utah
HB265 “Postmortem Procedures Amendments” became law in May and makes a provision for anyone in the State of Utah to take possession of a deceased body, file a death certificate, and commence with final disposition if a funeral director is not retained. Colorado death certificates have a signature line for, “Signature of Funeral Director of person acting as such.” Perhaps Utah death certificates will need to be amended as well. Download a PDF copy of this law here.



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