§ 13.204. Written agreement.

 (a)  A written agreement form, either for at need or preneed, statement of funeral goods and services approved by the Board, containing the name and address of the funeral director, the date the arrangements were made, the name of the deceased and the date of death, a specific listing of professional services, merchandise, facilities and equipment to be supplied by the funeral director for the preparation and burial, cremation or other disposition of the deceased as outlined in subsection (c); an itemized statement of cash advances and expenditures as explained in subsection (d); and the total cost, signed by the funeral director, shall be given to the family representative or agency official arranging for the funeral at the time of arrangements which must be prior to the disposition of the deceased. The forms or statements used by licensees in this Commonwealth must conform with the requirements imposed by the Federal Trade Commission under 16 CFR Part 453 (relating to funeral industry practices).

 (b)  A specific listing of professional services, merchandise, facilities and equipment to be supplied by the funeral director for the preparation and burial, cremation or other disposition of the deceased as specified in subsection (a) shall be completely spelled out as to what is included. Examples are as follows:

   (1)  Professional services include, if provided, funeral counseling, available on a 24-hour basis; arrangements for funerals and interments; preparation and local removal; obituary information to newspapers; filing of necessary forms; handling of flowers; direction of the funeral service; and presence at cemetery for interment services.

   (2)  Merchandise includes, if provided, a casket, including space for a description; an outer case or vault, including space for a description; memorial cards, prayer cards and acknowledgement cards, indicating the amount; candles; a register book; temporary grave marker; and pallbearer gloves.

   (3)  Facilities and equipment shall include, if provided, reposing rooms, chapel facilities, lounges, reception areas, parking, drape decoration or fern decoration, necessary religious equipment such as prayer rails and mass card holder, hearse (local), vehicle for removal (local), family car, flower transportation vehicle, clergy vehicle and pallbearer vehicle, if applicable.

 (c)  The written agreement form shall include a specific listing of cash advances paid for by the funeral director as a convenience to the family when the advances are dollar-for-dollar exchanges and not a part of the normal services and merchandise rendered by the licensee.

 (d)  The written agreement form must also include a specific listing of additional items of service and merchandise not covered by subsection (c) and differing from cash advances as explained in subsection (d).

 (e)  Interest on delinquent accounts, if charged, shall be listed and conform with State and Federal laws and regulations.

 (f)  A copy of the written agreement, signed by the family representative or agency official as well as the funeral director, shall be retained by the funeral director along with the records of the transaction for 6 years.

 (g)  If a family member or representative is located where a signature on an agreement is impossible, a fax, a telex, a telegram or a mailgram authorizing the procedure or arrangements will be acceptable. For the purpose of this subsection, the fax, telex, telegram or mailgram is to be used for ‘‘ship in’’ or ‘‘ship out’’ accommodations.

 (h)  The Board will not approve a form statement of funeral goods and services that does not comply with the act or this chapter, or the enforcement of any term of which would result in the violation of the act or this chapter.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  13.204 amended under section 16(a) of the Funeral Director Law (63 P. S. §  479.16(a).

Source

   The provisions of this §  13.204 adopted November 11, 1977, effective November 12, 1977, 7 Pa.B. 3306; amended December 6, 1991, effective December 7, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 5645; amended July 11, 2008, effective July 12, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 3794. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (328009) and (201765) to (201766).

Notes of Decisions

   The agreement must be signed prior to embalming, although the body may be released to another funeral director without a signed agreement, and it is not an abuse of discretion to suspend a funeral director’s license for 90 days for failing to obtain the required signature. Hunt v. State Board of Funeral Directors, 405 A.2d 996 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1979).



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