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 person contracting for cremation services shall be required to designate her or his intentions with respect to the 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 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) 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.
(3) Pursuant to the request of a legally authorized person and incidental to final disposition, cremation may be performed on parts of human remains.
(4) 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.
Note.--Former s. 470.0255.
WHAT IS CREMATION? A Cremation is a process of reducing the body to fragments of bone by flame and intense heat (1500-2000F). A crematory is a firebrick-lined retort that is approximately 3 feet high and wide, about 9 feet deep. The body is usually cremated in a combustible container (wood or fiberboard). The cremated remains consist of many coarse bone fragments that are swept out of the retort and processed into a fine material close to the consistency of sand. Typically, cremated remains account for 150-200 cubic inches and weigh 3-7 pounds. All cremations are to be performed individually. Cremation is performed by placing the deceased in a casket or other container and placing the casket or container into a cremation chamber or retort, where they are subjected to intense heat and flame. During the cremation process, it may be necessary to open the cremation chamber and reposition the deceased in order to facilitate a complete and thorough cremation. Through the use of a suitable fuel, incineration of the container and contents is accomplished and all substances are consumed or driven off, except bone fragments (calcium compounds) and metal (including dental gold and silver and other nonhuman material) as the temperature is not sufficient to consume them. Due to the nature of the cremation process, any personal possessions or valuable materials, such as jewelry, body prosthesis or dental work, that are left with the decedent and not removed from the casket or container prior to the cremation will be destroyed or if not destroyed, will be disposed of by the crematory. As the casket or container will not normally be opened by the crematory (to remove valuables, to allow for a final viewing or for any other reason), arrangements must be made with the funeral home to remove any such possessions or valuables prior to the time that the decedent is transported to the crematory. Following a cooling period, the cremated remains, which will normally weigh several pounds in the case of an average size adult, are then swept or raked from the cremation chamber. The crematory makes a reasonable effort to remove all of the cremated remains from the cremation chamber, but it is impossible to remove all of them, as some dust and other residue from the process are always left behind. In addition, while every effort will be made to avoid commingling, inadvertent incidental commingling of minute particles of cremated remains from the residue of previous cremations is a possibility. After the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber, all non-combustible materials (insofar as possible), such as bridgework, and materials from the casket or container, such as hinges, latches, nails, etc., will be separated and removed from the human bone fragments by visible or magnetic selection and will be disposed of by the crematory with similar materials from other cremations in a non-recoverable manner. When the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber, the skeletal remains often contain recognizable bone fragments. Unless otherwise specified, after the bone fragments have been separated from the other material, they will then be mechanically processed (pulverized). This process of crushing or grinding may cause incidental commingling of the cremains with the residue from the processing of previously cremated remains. These granulated particles of unidentifiable dimensions will be virtually unrecognizable as human remains. After the cremated remains have been processed, they will be placed in the designated urn or container. The crematory will make a reasonable effort to put all of the cremated remains in the urn or container, with the exception of dust or other reside that may remain on the processing equipment. In the event the urn or container provided is insufficient to accommodate all of the cremated remains, the excess will be placed in a separate receptacle. The separate receptacle will be kept with the primary receptacle and handled according to the disposition instructions on the cremation authorization form. The crematory requires that all urns or containers provided be appropriate for shipping or permanent storage, and that in the case of an adult, it is recommended that the urn or container be a minimum size of 200 cubic inches. Cremation is not final disposition, nor is placing the cremated remains in storage at a Funeral Home final disposition. The cremation process simply reduces the decedent's body to cremated remains. These cremated remains usually weigh several pounds and measure in excess of 150 cubic inches. Some provision must be made for the final disposition of these cremated remains. Therefore we mandate that arrangements for the final disposition be made at the time that cremation arrangements are being made and the cremation authorization is completed. If the final disposition of the cremated remains has not been completed within 30 days of the cremation, then the Funeral Home and Crematory shall be authorized to arrange for the final disposition of the cremated remains in any manner permitted by law. Such final disposition may include the commingling of the cremated remains with other cremated remains, and thereafter the cremated remains of the decedent will not be recoverable.
Q. What Do I Do When Death Occurs?
A. Death at home:
1. If there has been Hospice care, call Hospice.
2. If Hospice was not involved, call the local emergency number and state the type of emergency. They will consult the medical examiner.
3. Call a funeral home after the doctor or medical examiner has released the body.
B. Death at hospital or nursing home:
1. Check with the nurse to see if the body is released. Then call your funeral home of choice
Q. What Do I Do if Death Occurs Out of State?
A. If no viewing or visitation is to take place out of state, call your local Funeral Home in your home state. This is to be done after the doctor or medical examiner has released the body. Your local Funeral Director can arrange for transportation and other necessary services at less cost than if you contacted an out of state Funeral Director.
Q. How Are Funeral Arrangements Made?
A. First you need to contact a funeral home. When death occurs, your chosen Funeral Home begins helping you immediately. The staff is prepared to take your call 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a year. The first duty of the Funeral Home staff is to transfer the deceased to the Funeral home. The Funeral Home staff are professionals and will provide you with expert guidance during this very difficult time. The Funeral Director's primary function is to assist you in determining the details of the service. The first thing that must be done is to set up a meeting to acquire the necessary information needed for the paperwork that needs to be completed. Other details are: providing for preparations and burial or cremation of the body; helping to determine the date, time, structure and all the details of the funeral services composing and placing the obituary in the newspaper helping you select the appropriate merchandise, depending on the cemetery requirements, obtaining and completing the necessary paperwork including the death certificate, arranging for transportation of the deceased, and professional guidance through all of your options.
Q. What Do I Need To Bring To The Funeral Home?
A. When the Funeral Home is preparing for a funeral there are several items that you will need to provide. It helps if you can bring these items in ahead of time: Clothing, jewelry and other personal items to be placed with the deceased, information for the death certificate, Discharge papers and a recent photograph.
Q. How Can The Services Be Personalized?
A. Pictures of the deceased from as young a age as possible to very recent displayed on poster board are a very effective way to personalize the service. They show important events in their lives. If the deceased had a hobby bring in something related to that hobby to be displayed during the visitation. Music the individual's favorite music can be played during the visitation or a song can be played during the service itself.
Q. Are There Any Other Charges Related To This Funeral Service?
A. Some outside charges that you may incur are: certified copies of the death certificate; obituary notices; clergy honorarium; musician fees; flowers; cemetery expenses (cost of the grave and opening and closing of the grave), grave marker and base, and vault setting fee.
Q. Is Embalming Necessary?
A. Only if you select a service that involves viewing the deceased or if burial/cremation cannot take place within 48 hours.
Q. Can I Have a Viewing With Cremation?
A. Yes, time to say good-bye is very important. There are several options.
Q. Can I Just Take The Cremains Home?
A. Yes. They are returned to you in a temporary container. You might want consider and alternative container.
Q. I Have Already Paid For My Funeral Arrangements With Another Funeral Home. Can I Change My Plan?
A. Yes. Under Florida law you can change Funeral Homes anytime.
Q. May I Pay For These Services Ahead of Time?
A. Yes. You receive a lifetime guarantee that this is all you will ever pay for your funeral arrangements. (Unless additional items are requested