Experiencing the death of a loved one can be a very difficult and emotional time. From coping with their death to making funeral arrangements, things can be overwhelming. While most people have experience making funeral related decisions, few are aware of the laws surrounding funeral homes and arrangements. There are many things to consider and knowledge of the law is crucial. When choosing a funeral home, make sure its employees are licensed, as Georgia law requires embalmers and funeral directors be licensed to practice.  Once you have ensured proper licensing, carefully consider which funeral services you want for your loved one, and make sure you are only paying for services you have requested.
Some funeral homes automatically include embalming and its associated costs in a contract. However, unless it is required by state law, you do not need to pay for an embalming that you did not authorize. It should be noted that some funeral homes require embalming for viewing, so get your funeral home’s policy before agreeing to their terms and conditions. Once things are finalized, make sure you have a written contract, and that you keep a copy for your records. It is very important that you get any and all verbal agreements confirmed in writing. Once a contract is signed, any verbal agreements that have not been included in the written contract may go unrecognized in court.
As many people know, funerals can be very expensive. Make sure the funeral director explains everything clearly, to ensure you receive exactly what you request. Also, get a copy of any cancellation and refund policies. If for some reason you decide to move your loved one to another funeral home or you are unable to pay for the funeral arrangements, you can request that the funeral home release your loved one’s body. Georgia law prohibits a funeral establishment, funeral director, or embalmer from refusing to release a body, even if they are owed money. While you will likely still owe any incurred costs, your loved one’s body cannot be held due to lack of payment. In addition to contractual issues, problems may arise with the manner in which a funeral home or crematorium handles a body. Over the years, there have been horrifying reports of funeral homes and crematoriums mistreating, disregarding, and even improperly disposing of dead bodies. While many establishments provide satisfactory funeral services, some do not. If you or a loved one has been a victim of Funeral Home Negligence, you have rights.
If you believe a crematorium or a funeral home has violated your rights, call The Wotorson Firm, LLP today for your free consultation.
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 O.C.G.A. § 43-18-4
 State of Georgia, Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, Funeral Services http://consumer.georgia.gov/consumer-topics/funeral-services.
 O.C.G.A. § 43-18-5(f).
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Tags: Funeral Home Negligence