NJSFDA Testifies Against “Funeral Arrangers” Bill

NJSFDA Testifies Against “Funeral Arrangers” Bill

The New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association testified against proposed legislation that would fracture the state license for funeral directors into two distinct parts, upending more than 70 years of public policy.

NJSFDA Executive Director and CEO George R. Kelder Jr., CFSP, and Government Affairs Representative Samantha Minchello, appearing at the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee in Trenton on March 14, outlined their objections to Assembly Bill 3940, which is championed by SCI/Dignity Memorial and known as the “funeral arrangers” bill.

This bill, which the State Board of Mortuary Science of New Jersey opposed in October 2023, calling it flawed, seeks to divide the state’s “Practitioner of Mortuary Science” license into two licenses: a funeral director and a funeral arranger. Under the bill, an arranger would be allowed to perform all the duties of a funeral director other than arterial embalming.

The association stands in strong opposition of the legislation as written that would disregard 70 years of public policy and licensing requirements, abandoning the state’s overriding interest in consumer and public protection. The NJSFDA believes that instead of bringing more individuals into the industry, the measure would dilute the value of the funeral directors license and further divide the existing pool of applicants.

The NJSFDA will continue to work with the sponsor on behalf of the membership to rewrite a bill that more adequately meets the needs of the state and the 900 members of the NJSFDA.

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Ask the Manager

The NJSFDA Manager of the Day program provides members with a resource for addressing and resolving problems that arise in the daily operations of their funeral homes. Here are some matters that were brought to the attention of the Manager of the Day in recent months.

Disinterments with Court Orders

I’ve been contacted by our area medical examiner and law enforcement about disinterring the remains of an unidentified body. Law enforcement is seeking a court order for the disinterment. Do they also need a disinterment permit to remove...
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Do I Need to Supply a Sign Language Interpreter Free of Charge?

A woman is coming in to make arrangements for her spouse, who died recently. She is deaf and communicates through sign language. Can I charge her for hiring an American Sign Language interpreter to assist during our meeting?

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Human Remains and Nonpayment of Bill

I recently handled the funeral arrangements for a woman who was then cremated. The cremated remains have been returned to the funeral home. The family has not yet paid their funeral bill, but the next of kin is now asking for the remains. Am I...
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