How to Find a Funeral Home

funeral bureau

Losing a loved one is a difficult time, and making funeral arrangements can add to the stress. This guide will help you find the right funeral home for your needs.

The office of the Bureau oversees licensees in the practice of funeral directing, embalming and funeral establishments; inspection of funeral homes; investigations of consumer complaints; and examinations of preneed funeral contracts and trust funds.

Licensed Funeral Director

A licensed funeral director is a person who arranges funerals and other memorial services, assists grieving families, and transports the bodies to their final resting place. The funeral director must have a high level of compassion and a sturdy constitution – handling the dead is not for everyone. The person must also have the right education and job skillset to work in this industry.

The licensing requirements vary by state, but all include mortuary science classes such as pathology, embalming chemistry and restorative art. Some programs also have on-the-job training in which you apprentice under an experienced funeral director and embalmer. This can last one to three years. Some states have grade requirements, while others interview applicants before approving them for licenses.

After completing the FSAD program, you must take both the Arts and Sciences sections of the National Board Examination (NBE). The NBE is administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards.

Licensed Embalmer

Many people do not think of a career as an embalmer when considering their future, but this profession offers a unique opportunity to serve families during one of their most difficult times. Embalmers are responsible for preparing bodies for burial or cremation and must be licensed in their state. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most require an associate’s degree and an apprenticeship under a licensed embalmer.

Mortuary science degree programs include a variety of technical courses such as anatomy, cadaver dissection, and embalming techniques. They also cover more general subjects like office management, law and ethics, and human resources.

Some states prohibit individuals with certain felony convictions from becoming embalmers, but these restrictions are handled on a case-by-case basis. Those with criminal records may still be eligible for licensing if they can demonstrate that their skills and knowledge are comparable to those of a licensed embalmer. Moreover, some states have a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.

Licensed Cemetery

Whether you are planning on burying your loved ones in a cemetery or scattering their remains, it is important to understand the licensing requirements. Most states have laws regulating cemeteries. Many of these laws require a license or permit to operate. Other requirements include building codes and zoning. You may also need business insurance, which will protect your company in the event of a loss.

In addition, the laws often regulate care funds. A private cemetery must file an annual report describing its investments and showing the assets and disbursements in its care fund. The reports must also be available for inspection.

If a private cemetery violates any of the state’s laws, it could be subject to fines and closure. For instance, it is illegal to charge for services that are not provided. The laws also prohibit cemeteries from taking any land by deed, devise or merger without the consent of the cemetery board. This includes municipal, private, national and family cemeteries.

Licensed Crematory

Cremation is a popular choice for many families. There are approximately 150 cremation facilities in New York state. Cremation involves using high heat to reduce the body to ashes, bones and metals. The ashes can then be buried or scattered. Some crematories also offer transport and delivery services for the remains. Crematory operators must be licensed in the funeral industry and obtain specific operational permits from DEC.

Funeral home owners and managers should review the Board’s rules and regulations regarding pricing disclosure, embalming room requirements, sanitation and cleanliness and safety issues. NFDA does not endorse or recommend any particular firms.

The Board’s executive director, administrative assistants and field representatives handle the license application and renewal process, investigate consumer complaints and inspect funeral establishments. The Board is a member of the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, which addresses licensure qualifications, examination, state-to-state reciprocity and other issues that impact the boards’ mission. Its periodic newsletters facilitate the exchange of information among members.

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