Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, clarifying who controls a funeral and disposition of human remains, was signed into law Friday.
“There are practical reasons funerals need to happen in a timely manner,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “To avoid problematic delays in burials, this legislation clarifies the protocols to follow in situations where those responsible for arranging a funeral are unresponsive.”
The law clarifies the procedure for contacting individuals to arrange the funeral, when no party is named in the will or the individual named in the will is unable or unwilling to attend to these responsibilities.
“Accepting the responsibility to plan a funeral can be emotionally and financially draining,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This law provides a defined path for when people are reluctant to take responsibility. It ensures individuals are laid to rest in a timely manner even if there are complications.”
Under the law, if the first relative contacted to arrange the funeral does not respond within 72 hours it falls to the next in line, as defined by current law.
Certain incidences outlined in the law, such as a divorce or a restraining order, disqualify an individual from handling the funeral.