On January 7, 2003, the Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery Services and the Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services moved to the Department of Financial Services to report to the Chief Financial Officer.
The 2004 Legislature initiated the regulatory consolidation of the death care industry in Senate Bill 528. The Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery Services regulated cemeteries, preneed merchandise/service contracts and related matters through Chapter 497, Florida Statutes. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation regulated funeral directing, embalming, and direct disposition through Chapter 470, Florida Statutes. An appointed regulatory board was maintained within each Department.
Effective on October 1, 2005, Chapter 470, Florida Statutes, was merged into Chapter 497, Florida Statutes, and all regulatory authority was transferred to the Department of Financial Services. The current Board was created to regulate the entire death care industry. The 2005 Legislature completed the regulatory consolidation of the death care industry with adjustments to the previous legislation in House Bills 529 and 1469. The Legislature created the Division and revised Chapter 497, Florida Statutes.
The Division and Board were created for the following purposes and intent:
- To protect the purchasers of preneed burial rights, funeral or burial merchandise, or funeral or burial services from serious economic harm if money is not set aside for future use as intended
- To protect public health and safety through the establishment of minimum qualifications for entry into the death care industry, the regulation of the industry, and swift and effective discipline for those practitioners/licensees who violate the law
The roles of the Division and Board are fully described in sections 497.101, 497.103, 497.107, and 497.167, Florida Statutes. The Division and Board work closely in overseeing Florida’s death care industry. In general, the Division performs the following roles:
- Ensures that licensees meet the minimum qualifications for entry into the professions and occupations of embalming, funeral directing, cremation, and direct disposition
- Ensures that licensees complete any required continuing education courses
- Protects the purchasers of preneed contracts by ensuring that individuals and entities selling preneed contracts meet the minimum qualifications and otherwise comply with statutory regulations
- Performs annual inspections on all licensed cemeteries, funeral establishments, centralized embalming facilities, cinerator facilities, direct disposal establishments, refrigeration facilities, removal facilities, monument builder establishments, and monument retailers
- Performs examinations of licensees on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with all trust accounting regulations
- Performs investigations on all complaints received regarding licensees and/or suspected unlicensed activities
- Provides administrative support to the Board
- Provides effective discipline for those practitioners/licensees who violate the law