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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

49 Pa. Code § 13.201. Professional responsibilities.


§ 13.201. Professional responsibilities.

 The responsibilities and duties of licensed funeral directors in connection with a funeral, include the following:

   (1)  Providing full and factual representation concerning aspects of the services rendered or the funeral furnishings provided.

   (2)  Counseling the family in the selection of services and furnishings taking into consideration both the wishes of the family and their financial limitations.

   (3)  Maintaining confidentiality of information received during the rendering of service to a family.

   (4)  Acquainting oneself with the religious practices or customs of families the funeral director serves and adjusting services to conform with their belief.

   (5)  Releasing the remains to the funeral director chosen by the family, if any, in the most expeditious manner if called upon to remove the remains from an accident or comparable situation, before the family has been contacted.

   (6)  Providing proper disposal of human remains in accordance with the following:

     (i)   Human remains held 24 hours beyond death shall be embalmed or sealed in a container that will not allow fumes or odors to escape or kept under refrigeration, if this does not conflict with a religious belief or medical examination.

     (ii)   Human remains kept under refrigeration over 24 hours beyond death shall be maintained at a temperature level between 35° and 40°F. The remains shall be buried, cremated or entombed within 5 hours following removal from refrigeration.

     (iii)   Under normal circumstances, the public should not view an unembalmed body which has been kept in refrigeration longer than 36 hours.

   (7)  Obtaining and maintaining written authorization from the family of a deceased who is to be cremated.


   The provisions of this §  13.201 adopted October 19, 1973, effective October 20, 1973, 3 Pa.B. 2392; amended November 11, 1977, effective November 12, 1977, 7 Pa.B. 3306; amended December 6, 1991, effective December 7, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 5645. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (151825) to (151826).

Notes of Decisions

   Gross Misconduct

   Petitioner’s accusations that priest recommended services of competing funeral home did not constitute gross misconduct and thereby justify suspension of license; regulation under which Petitioner’s license suspended is vague. Ciavarelli v. State Board of Funeral Directors, 565 A.2d 520 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1989).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  13.306 (relating to confidentiality—waived).

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