27 February 2009

California Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases

I interrupt the occasional posting of gravestone photographs and cemetery summaries to bring you a very important, and interesting, document - the Consumer Guide to Funeral and Cemetery Purchases, provided by the Cemetery and Mortuary Association of California. The heading on the Guide is "State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Cemetery and Funeral Bureau." The web site with this Consumer Guide is http://www.cfb.ca.gov/consumer/funeral.shtml.

The Consumer Guide has sections for Legal Requirements, Deciding in Advance, Burial, Cremation, Special circumstances, Price List Requirements, Complaints, and Glossary of Terms.

I found very useful information in this Guide - for instance, did you know that (in California):

* Human remains may be kept at home until disposition without embalming or refrigeration. Generally, decomposition will proceed more rapidly without refrigeration or embalming.

* Disposition of Cremated Remains: Retention at a residence - The funeral establishment or crematory will have you sign the Permit for Disposition showing that the remains were released to you and will file it with the local registrar of births and deaths. You may not remove the cremated remains from the container and you must arrange for their disposition upon your death

* Cremated remains may not be transported without a permit from the county health department and they may not be disposed of in refuse.

Read the whole thing. I picked this up the last time I was at La Vista Memorial Park in National City, searching in vain (so far) for my great-grand-uncle David D. Smith.

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