2018 Florida Statutes
Cremation; procedure required.
Cremation; procedure required.
497.607 Cremation; procedure required.—
(1) At the time of the arrangement for a cremation performed by any person licensed pursuant to this chapter, the legally authorized person contracting for cremation services shall be required to designate her or his intentions with respect to disposition of the cremated remains of the deceased in a signed declaration of intent which shall be provided by and retained by the funeral or direct disposal establishment. A cremation may not be performed until a legally authorized person gives written authorization, which may include the declaration of intent to dispose of the cremated remains, for such cremation. The cremation must be performed within 48 hours after a specified time which has been agreed to in writing by the person authorizing the cremation.
(2) Cremated remains are not property, as defined in s. 731.201(32), and are not subject to partition for purposes of distribution under s. 733.814. A division of cremated remains requires the consent of the legally authorized person who approved the cremation or, if the legally authorized person is the decedent, the next legally authorized person pursuant to s. 497.005(43). A dispute regarding the division of cremated remains shall be resolved by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3)(a) With respect to any person who intends to provide for the cremation of the deceased, if, after a period of 120 days from the time of cremation the cremated remains have not been claimed, the funeral or direct disposal establishment may dispose of the cremated remains. Such disposal shall include scattering them at sea or placing them in a licensed cemetery scattering garden or pond or in a church columbarium or otherwise disposing of the remains as provided by rule.
(b) A reasonable effort shall be made before such disposal to determine whether the cremated remains are those of a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, United States Reserve Forces, or National Guard eligible for burial in a national cemetery or a spouse or dependent child of a veteran eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
(c) If the unclaimed cremated remains are those of an eligible veteran or the spouse or dependent child of an eligible veteran, the funeral or direct disposal establishment shall arrange for the interment of the cremated remains in a national cemetery. A funeral or direct disposal establishment may use the assistance of a veterans’ service organization for this purpose. A funeral or direct disposal establishment or veterans’ service organization acting in good faith is not liable for any damages resulting from the release of required information to determine eligibility for interment.
(d) This subsection does not require a funeral or direct disposal establishment to:
1. Determine whether the cremated remains are those of a veteran if the funeral or direct disposal establishment is informed by a legally authorized person that the decedent was not a veteran.
2. Relinquish possession of the cremated remains to a veterans’ service organization if the funeral or direct disposal establishment is informed by a legally authorized person that the decedent did not desire any funeral, ceremony, or interment-related services recognizing the decedent’s service as a veteran.
(e) For purposes of this subsection, the term:
1. “Reasonable effort” includes contacting the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, the county veterans service office, the regional office of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or a veterans’ service organization.
2. “Veterans’ service organization” means an association, corporation, or other entity that qualifies under s. 501(c)(3) or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code as a tax-exempt organization, that is organized for the benefit of veterans’ burial and interment, and that is recognized by the Memorial Affairs Division of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The term includes a member or employee of an eligible nonprofit veterans’ corporation, association, or entity that specifically assists in facilitating the identification, recovery, and interment of the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans.
(4) Pursuant to the request of a legally authorized person and incidental to final disposition, cremation may be performed on parts of human remains.
(5) In regard to human remains delivered to the control of the anatomical board of this state headquartered at the University of Florida Health Science Center, the provisions of this subsection and chapter shall not be construed to prohibit the anatomical board from causing the final disposition of such human remains through cremation or otherwise when performed in facilities owned and operated by such anatomical board or the University of Florida Health Science Center pursuant to and using such processes, equipment, and procedures as said anatomical board determines to be proper and adequate.
History.—ss. 1, 2, ch. 86-92; s. 1, ch. 87-70; s. 1, ch. 89-8; s. 26, ch. 89-374; ss. 25, 122, ch. 93-399; s. 321, ch. 97-103; s. 132, ch. 2004-301; s. 50, ch. 2005-155; s. 19, ch. 2013-138; s. 30, ch. 2016-172.
Note.—Former s. 470.0255.