Regulation of practices related to the disposition of human remains began in 1909 with the establishment of the State Board of Embalming. The State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers was established in 1945.
Statutory provisions governing the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers (Board) are found at A.R.S. §§32-1301 through 32-1399. The State Real Estate Department issues licenses for cemetery brokers and has regulatory responsibilities for cemetery development and sale of plots. Statutory provisions are found at A.R.S. §§32-2194 through 32-2194.33.
The Board oversees people and businesses engaged in the final disposition of human remains. Its responsibilities include licensure and regulation of persons involved in funeral services, preparation of bodies for burial, and cremation including the work of funeral directors, cremationists and persons working under their supervision. The Board oversees funeral establishments and crematories and also governs prearranged funeral agreements, consumer information, and property and services sold or provided in connection with the final disposition of human remains.
The Board is comprised of seven members appointed to four-year terms by the Governor. The Board appoints an executive director and hires employees. Monies collected from licensing fees are deposited into the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers Fund. Ninety percent of the monies are deposited into the Fund and the remaining ten percent is deposited in the state General Fund.
Laws 1909, Chapter 45 established the Territorial Board of Embalming and provided for licensing and regulation of practices related to the disposition of human remains. Provisions regarding its successor, the State Board of Embalming, were found at 48 R.S., 1913, Chapter IV, Sections 3779-4792.
Until 1945, statutes relating to the Board were found at 1939 A.C.A., Sections 67-1001 through 67-1005. Laws 1945, Chapter 36 repealed and renumbered the provisions as Title 32, Chapter 12; outlined requirements to obtain a certificate to conduct business; established the application and examination process for funeral directors, embalmers, apprentice embalmers, and assistant funeral directors; outlined requirements for funeral establishments; and addressed unlawful practices, disciplinary actions, hearings, appeals, and penalties. The measure established the State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers to administer the act and authorized the Board to adopt administrative rules. The Board consisted of three members appointed by the Governor to two-year terms.
Laws 1957, Chapter 44 authorized banks to accept and hold payments for prearranged funeral agreements.
Laws 1972, Chapter 131increased the number of Board members to five and added provisions setting certificate standards for funeral directors.
Laws 1976, Chapter 149 increased the number of Board members to six, adding an additional lay member and added Article 3.1 to Title 32, Chapter 12, Arizona Revised Statutes, relating to funeral practices. The measure also established the Subdivision Recovery Fund, administered by the state Real Estate Commissioner. The Fund consists of fees collected for real estate and cemetery broker’s licenses and is used to compensate persons defrauded in the course of real estate or cemetery transactions. The State Real Estate Department issues licenses for real estate, cemetery lots and membership campground sales.
Laws 1989, Chapter 236 established regulations for cremating human remains and outlined regulatory and licensing requirements for crematories. The Board was required to obtain the advice of the Real Estate Commissioner before adopting standards for crematories and cremation. Crematories licensed as part of a cemetery were also subject to regulations adopted by the Board.
Laws 1998, Chapter 62 repealed and reorganized statutes relating to the Board. The omnibus measure addressed Board responsibilities; licensing requirements; regulation and enforcement; prearranged funeral agreements; cremation and crematories; and cemeteries. An advisory committee was established to review cemetery business practices and provide a report to the Governor and Legislature by November 15, 1998 with recommendations for legislation to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
Laws 2002, Chapter 168 outlined disciplinary actions and modified crematory standards of practice. A second measure enacted in 2002 established licensing requirements for cremationists.
Laws 2013 Chapter 249 eliminated references to apprentice embalmers; added provisions authorizing intern trainees at funeral establishments and outlined requirements for that position.
- Arizona Revised Statutes - Title 32 Chapter 12 and Chapter 20
- Arizona Administrative Code R4-12-101 et seq.
- Territorial Laws 1909, Chapter 45
- 1939 Arizona Code Annotated §§67-1001
- Laws 1945, Chapter 36
- Laws 1957, Chapter 44
- Laws 1972, Chapter 131
- Laws 1976, Chapter 149
- Laws 1989, Chapter 236
- Laws 1998, Chapter 62
- Laws 2002, Chapters 168 and 190
- Laws 2013, Chapter 249
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives:
- Record Group 46 – Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, 1909-1984
- Manuscript Group 52 – Phoenix Pioneer Cemetery
- Manuscript Group 69 – A.L. Moore Mortuary
- Manuscript Group 70 – H.H. McClellan Mortuary
- Joint Legislative Budget Committee FY 2019 Baseline Book. http://www.azleg.gov/jlbc.htm
- Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers August 30, 2018