Sello de Jimmy Patronis, CFO

Quejas

Si desea presentar una queja, Haga Clic Aquí para descargar el fomulario de Quejas. El formulario completo debe enviarse por correo a la siguiente dirección: The Division of Funeral Cemetery and Consumer Services; 200 E. Gaines Street; Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0361, o puede enviar el formulario al Personal de Quejas por fax al (850) 413-4958.
Complaints must be submitted in writing. Please use the Complaint form available AQUÍ.
Please contact the Division to assist you in identifying the licensee(s) involved prior to submitting a complaint.
Yes.  Please note that photographs and other documents submitted with your complaint will not be returned.  Please do not send originals.
The complaint is assigned to an investigator.  You will receive an acknowledgement letter that includes contact information for the investigator responsible for your complaint.  The investigator will contact you, the licensee, and any witnesses involved.
Yes.  The information will be included in the letter sent to you acknowledging receipt of your complaint.
Generally, complaints are reviewed and investigated in the order in which they are received.
Investigations are typically completed within 60 days.  However, there are times when investigations may extend beyond 60 days due to limitations and delays beyond our control.
Yes.  The licensee receives a copy of the complaint form when they are notified of the complaint.
You may choose to remain anonymous.  However, you will not receive updates regarding your complaint.  Also, since we would not be able to contact you if additional information was needed regarding your complaint, remaining anonymous could make it more difficult to confirm violations or otherwise satisfactorily resolve the issues.
If you choose to remain anonymous, you will not receive updates on the investigation.
Complaints and supplemental information obtained during the investigation remain confidential until the case reaches a disposition.  Therefore, information can only be shared with the complainant(s) or their attorney, if the attorney has submitted a letter of representation.
Please inform the assigned investigator of any issues you experience with the licensee after you have submitted your complaint.
If the allegations include possible violations of chapter 497, Florida Statutes and/or rule chapter 69K, Florida Administrative Code, the Division will open an investigation.  However, if the allegations include issues related to labor relations or human resources, the Division does not have authority to investigate these matters.

No. The Division does not regulate all cemeteries. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000-5,000 cemeteries in Florida and there are less than 200 licensed cemeteries. Typically, cemeteries that are less than 15 acres are not licensed. Other cemeteries that are not licensed include the following:

  • Religious cemeteries that are less than 5 acres which provide only single-level ground burial.
  • Cementerios municipales y del condado.
  • Community and nonprofit association cemeteries which provide only single-level ground burial and do not sell burial spaces or burial merchandise.

A full list of the types of cemeteries which are exempt is set out in section 497.260, Florida Statutes.  The Division has extremely limited authority over exempt or unlicensed cemeteries.  To determine if a particular cemetery is licensed, please use the Licensee Search tool.

Complaints and supplemental information obtained during the investigation remain confidential until the case reaches a disposition.  Once the case is closed, all information is subject to public record.
  Complaint files are retained for two years.

Cementerios

No. The Division does not regulate all cemeteries. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000-5,000 cemeteries in Florida and there are less than 200 licensed cemeteries. Typically, cemeteries that are less than 15 acres are not licensed. Other cemeteries that are exempt from licensure include the following:

  • Religious cemeteries that are less than 5 acres which provide only single-level ground burial.
  • Cementerios municipales y del condado.
  • Community and nonprofit association cemeteries which provide only single-level ground burial and do not sell burial spaces or burial merchandise.

A full list of the types of cemeteries which are exempt is set out in section 497.260, Florida Statutes.  The Division has extremely limited authority over exempt or unlicensed cemeteries.  To determine if a particular cemetery is licensed, please use the Licensee Search tool.

No. However, since 1996, each cemetery in Florida is expected to maintain a record of the burials occurring on its premises.

Ninguna compañía de cementerios u otra entidad legal que administre o mantenga cualquier cementerio público o privado puede denegar un lugar de entierro a ninguna persona debido a su raza o color.

Una compañía de cementerios u otra entidad legal que opere un cementerio puede designar partes de un cementerio o espacios para el uso específico de personas cuyo código religioso requiera un entierro aislado.

Los cementerios de instituciones religiosas pueden limitar los entierros a miembros de la institución religiosa y sus familiares.

For cemeteries developed prior to October 1, 2005:

  • No existe ningún requisito estatutario para el tamaño de las tumbas excepto un mínimo de 12 pulgadas de tierra o césped sobre las tumbas.
  • The requirements are contingent upon ground conditions. In some instances, it may be impossible to meet the depth requirements and the requirements may be waived on a case-by-case basis (e.g., tree roots in the grave site, water levels, etc.).
  • The minimum depth requirement does not apply to cremated remains. There is no minimum requirement for the depth of soil or sod covering the burial of cremated remains.
  • The licensed cemetery may require the purchase of a full-sized lot for the burial of cremated remains.

Después del 1 de Octubre de 2005:

  • Any gardens developed in a licensed cemetery will make all new graves 42” wide by 96” long, except for preinstalled vaults in designated areas.
  • Covering soil at the time of burial shall be no less than 12” over the outside burial container. This does not include the burial of cremated remains or preinstalled vaults.
  • Los parques nuevos deben ser medidos y marcados con varillas de medición cada 200 pies.

Sí, existen requisitos estrictos para la venta y finalización de proyectos de mausoleos preconstrucción.

Before a licensed cemetery company can sell a space in a mausoleum, columbarium or bank of below ground crypts, prior to construction, it must establish a trust fund or submit a performance bond to the Division.

La División no regula la venta de espacios en mausoleos en los cementerios exentos.

The construction must be completed within 5 years after the date of the first sale made. However, extensions for completion, not to exceed 1 year, may be granted by the Division for good cause shown.

If the units have not been completely constructed at the time of need or the time specified herein, all moneys paid (plus interest) must be refunded upon request.

Florida does not require the purchase of a vault. A cemetery’s bylaws or rules will state if it requires a vault or grave liner for burials. The cemetery company cannot require that the vault or grave liner be purchased from their company.

Cualquier cementerio, ya sea con licencia o exento, puede cobrar un cargo por instalación siempre y cuando el cementerio se encargue de la instalación.

Ningún cementerio puede:

  • Charge a fee for the installation of a monument purchased or obtained from and to be installed by a firm other than the cemetery company or its agents.
  • Require any firm that installs, places, or sets a monument to obtain any form of insurance, bond, or surety or make any form of pledge, deposit, or monetary guarantee as a condition for entry on or access to cemetery property.
No. No person who is authorized to sell a grave space and no licensed cemetery company may require the payment of a setting or service charge, by whatever name known, from third party installers for the placement of a monument.

If you have been unable to get a licensed cemetery’s management to reasonably maintain its grounds, you may file a complaint with the Division using the Complaint form . A Division investigator will be assigned to inspect the cemetery and determine if the maintenance is adequate. If there appears to be negligence or inadequate maintenance by the cemetery, the investigator will discuss the matter with cemetery management and hopefully resolve the situation. If the matter cannot be resolved, administrative action may be taken against any licensed cemetery.

Seasonal watering restrictions and/or weather conditions may be a factor in the current condition of the grounds.

Florida has no provision for the state to maintain a cemetery in poor condition.

Counties and municipalities have the authority to take such action as necessary and appropriate to provide for the maintenance and security of an abandoned cemetery or a cemetery that has not been reasonably maintained for a period of at least six months.

A county or municipality that has maintained or secured a cemetery may take action against the cemetery’s owner to recover an amount equal to the value of the maintenance or security provided.

Yes.  No person who is authorized to sell grave space and no cemetery company may refuse to provide care or maintenance for any portion of a gravesite on which a monument has been placed or waive liability with respect to damage caused by cemetery employees or agents to a monument after installation, even if it is not purchased from the cemetery company providing grave space or from or through any other person or corporation designated by the person authorized to sell grave space or the cemetery company providing grave space.  However, no cemetery company may be held liable for the improper installation of a monument where the monument is not installed by the cemetery company or its agents.

Unless specified in a contract, damage to a marker, which is not directly caused by the cemetery or its employees, may be covered by the homeowners’ insurance policy of the person who owns the gravesite.

Los defectos en materiales que resulten en daños son la responsabilidad de la compañía que vendió el marcador.

Yes.  Cemeteries generally try to maintain an environment that will be pleasing to all visitors. Cemeteries may restrict the placement of extra ornamentation on the grave sites if the items interfere with maintenance of the cemetery or pose a danger if caught by a lawn mower or other equipment.

Los estatutos del cementerio establecerán qué se puede colocar sobre las tumbas y qué es un paisaje aceptable. Los estatutos y reglas pueden cambiar con el pasar de los años. El cementerio está obligado a poner todas las reglas y estatutos a disposición de todo aquel que lo solicite.

Under section 704.08, Florida Statutes, “The relatives and descendants of any person buried in a cemetery shall have an easement for ingress and egress for the purpose of visiting the cemetery at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner.”  A cemetery may set reasonable hours for visitation (e.g., sunrise to sunset) in compliance with the cemetery’s rules and regulations or bylaws.  If it is a religious cemetery, certain days may be set aside for observance of religious holidays.
El cementerio con licencia debe comunicarse con el familiar más cercano o la persona legalmente autorizada para permitir el entierro.
Generally, a cemetery must obtain written authorization from the next of kin or the person legally authorized prior to disinterment, disentombment or disinurnment.  See section 872.02, Florida Statutes, regarding the process for public notice when a legally authorized person cannot be located. 

There is no state law that prohibits this activity.  Local ordinances and rules should be consulted to determine if this type of burial is permitted. Check local zoning laws and deed restrictions, etc., to determine if it is allowed in the local community. A licensed funeral director may be required to be present at the burial.  A burial-transit permit may also be required in accordance with section 382.006, Florida Statutes.

Florida allows for the establishment of family cemeteries of less than two acres, which do not sell burial spaces or burial merchandise. This type of cemetery would also have to provide adequate access to allow for family members to visit the burial spaces.

The future sale of the property should also be considered as purchasers may be leery of buying property where human remains have been buried.

Indigent burials or cremations are handled by the city or county where the burial is to take place.  The qualifications for indigent burials vary. For more information concerning indigent burials, please contact your city or county government.

You may also contact the Social Security Administration for further assistance.

Después del período de cancelación del contrato de los 30 días iniciales, el cementerio no está obligado a cancelar y reembolsar un derecho de entierro.

Revise los términos del contrato en busca de cualquier texto que establezca una política de reembolso diferente a la requerida según los estatutos.

Muchas compañías tienen una red nacional y quizás puedan cumplir con el contrato en otro estado.

You have the right to resell the burial space. If the cemetery does not choose to repurchase the burial right, you can advertise the space(s) for sale or contract with a licensed broker of burial rights to find a buyer.

If you hire a broker of burial rights, you should carefully read and understand the terms of the brokerage agreement before signing it.


Cementerios Exentos

The types of cemeteries which are exempt are listed in section 497.260, Florida Statutes.  These include:

  • Religious institution cemeteries of less than 5 acres, which provide only single-level ground burial
  • County and municipal cemeteries
  • Community and nonprofit association cemeteries, which provide only single-level ground burial and do not sell burial spaces or burial merchandise
  • Cemeteries owned and operated or dedicated by a religious institution prior to June 23, 1976
  • Cemeteries beneficially owned and operated since July 1, 1915, by a fraternal organization or its corporate agent
  • A columbarium consisting of less than one-half acre which is owned by and immediately contiguous to an existing religious institution facility and is subject to local government zoning
  • Family cemeteries of less than 2 acres, which do not sell burial spaces or burial merchandise
  • A mausoleum consisting of 2 acres or less which is owned by and immediately contiguous to an existing religious institution facility and is subject to local government zoning
Yes.  A record must be kept of every burial in the cemetery of a cemetery company, showing the date of burial and the name of the person buried, together with lot, plot, and space in which the burial was made.
It depends on the contract the cemetery signs with the purchaser and what regulations are in place. If the cemetery transferred ownership rights (as in fee simple title) to the family of the deceased, the cemetery has little right to remove items from the grave site. However, if only interment rights have been given to the family, the cemetery can regulate the use of the grave plot. The cemetery can develop regulations or bylaws to regulate items placed on the grave spaces.
No. No person who is authorized to sell a grave space and no cemetery company may require the payment of a setting or service charge, by whatever name known, from third party installers for the placement of a monument.

All exempt cemeteries which are in excess of 5 acres must submit to the following investigation and mediation procedure by the Division in the event of a consumer complaint:

  • The exempt cemetery must make every effort to first resolve a consumer complaint;
  • If the complaint is not resolved, the exempt cemetery shall advise the consumer of the right to seek investigation and mediation by the Division;
  • If the Division receives a complaint, it will attempt to resolve it telephonically with the parties involved;
  • If the complaint still is not resolved, the Division will conduct an investigation and mediate the complaint;
  • If the Division conducts an onsite investigation and face-to-face mediation with the parties, it may charge the exempt cemetery a single investigation and mediation fee not to exceed $300, which fee is set by rule and calculated on an hourly basis; and
  • If all attempts to resolve the consumer complaint fail, the cemetery is subject to proceedings for penalties and discipline under chapter 497, Florida Statutes, if it is determined in an administrative proceeding that the cemetery is guilty of fraud, deceit, theft, gross negligence, incompetence, unjustified failure to honor its contracts, or failure to adequately maintain its premises. 
Yes. The relatives and descendants of any person buried in a cemetery have an easement for ingress and egress for the purpose of visiting the cemetery at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner. The owner of the land may designate the easement. If the cemetery is abandoned or otherwise not being maintained, such relatives and descendants may request the owner to provide for reasonable maintenance of the cemetery, and, if the owner refuses or fails to maintain the cemetery, the relatives and descendants have the right to maintain the cemetery. Please refer to section 704.08, Florida Statutes.
Yes. A person who intentionally destroys, mutilates, defaces, injures, or removes any tomb, monument, gravestone, burial mound, earthen or shell monument containing human skeletal remains or associated burial artifacts, or other structure or thing placed or designed for a memorial of the dead, or any fence, railing, curb, or other thing intended for the protection or ornamentation of any tomb, monument, gravestone, burial mound, earthen or shell monument containing human skeletal remains or associated burial artifacts, or other structure before mentioned, or for any enclosure for the burial of the dead, or willfully destroys, mutilates, removes, cuts, breaks, or injures any tree, shrub, or plant placed or being within any such enclosure, commits a felony of the third degree. Please refer to section 872.02, Florida Statutes.

Un condado o municipalidad en cuya jurisdicción tenga un cementerio abandonado o un cementerio que no haya sido mantenido razonablemente por un período mayor a 6 meses puede, previo aviso a la División, tomar las medidas necesarias y apropiadas para facilitar el mantenimiento y seguridad del cementerio. Estas medidas consisten en:

  • Solicitation of private funds and the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of providing continuous security or maintenance for any cemetery.
  • Taking legal action against the owner of the cemetery to recover an amount equal to the value of such maintenance or security.

No county or municipality may be subject to civil liabilities or penalties of any type for damages to property at the cemetery.


Cremación

Yes, if it is also appropriately licensed as a cinerator facility under chapter 497, Florida Statutes.
A direct disposal establishment that is licensed under chapter 497, Florida Statutes, can provide cremation services to the public.
Cremated human remains (or “cremains”) do not have to be buried. The act of cremation itself is considered the final disposition of a person’s remains. However, disputes have arisen among family members as to the ownership of or control over the final remains of a loved one. Such disputes are best resolved through the civil court processes.
No.

Las cenizas pueden ser esparcidas en cualquier terreno de la Florida, pero no en cualquier fuente de agua dulce de la Florida.

Si desea obtener información adicional, comuníquese con el Departamento de Protección Ambiental.

Check with your landlord or condo association if applicable.  Also check local zoning laws and deed restrictions, etc., to determine if it is allowed in the local community.

Es posible que esparcir cenizas en propiedad privada sea interpretado como establecer un cementerio.

The United States Coast Guard issues permits for burial at sea within the three mile limit.  You may want to talk with a local funeral director for assistance in obtaining the appropriate permit(s).
If you are not selling a preneed service, there is no restriction. Check with the United States Coast Guard for information regarding the appropriate permits.

Servicios Funerarios

A funeral director who is licensed in Florida under chapter 497, Florida Statutes.
No.  A direct disposal establishment may only provide cremation services.
No.  Florida does not require embalming.  However, a body must be embalmed or refrigerated within 24 hours of death.

Cash advance items are services or merchandise that a funeral home will obtain from a third party to provide for the purchaser. Examples of such items include: flowers, airline tickets, death certificates, etc.

A funeral home must disclose if it will collect a fee for providing the cash advance items.

A burial-transit permit is a document which authorizes the burial or other final disposition of a person’s remains.  These permits are issued under section 382.006, Florida Statutes.  The registrar of the district in which a death occurs issues a burial transit permit. The local registrar is not authorized to issue the permit if any questions remain regarding the cause of death.
The funeral director who first assumes custody of the deceased must obtain a burial-transit permit prior to the final disposition and within 5 days of death. The application for a burial-transit permit must be signed by the funeral director and include the funeral director’s license number.  Please refer to sections 382.006 and 382.007, Florida Statutes, for more information.
The Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, can provide copies of death certificates.

Licencias

Generally, the following deathcare professionals and establishments operating in Florida need to be licensed under chapter 497, Florida Statutes: 

  • Any person acting as a funeral director and/or embalmer, intern, or apprentice
  • Establecimientos funerarios
  • Compañías de traslado
  • Establecimientos embalsamadores centralizados
  • Instalaciones de incineradores
  • Any person acting as a direct disposer
  • Establecimientos de entierro directo
  • Cemeteries that are not exempt as defined in section 497.260, Florida Statutes
  • Any person and company who sells preneed funeral or cemetery merchandise and/or services, including retail funeral and cemetery merchandise stores (e.g., casket stores).
  • Any individual working for a company as a salesperson selling preneed funeral or cemetery merchandise and/or services 
  • Establecimientos de venta o construcción de monumentos
  • Brokers of burial rights, if they receive compensation as a third party for the sale or transfer of three or more burial rights in a 12-month period and are not otherwise a licensed individual
  • Agentes de venta de monumentos
Licensed deathcare establishments are required to post their current license(s) issued under chapter 497, Florida Statutes.  The license(s) should be displayed in a conspicuous place at the establishment in an area that is easily visible to the public.  The licenses for any licensed individuals employed at the establishment should also be publicly displayed.  To otherwise determine if a particular individual or establishment is licensed, please use the Licensee Search tool.

Pets

Pet cemeteries may be regulated by a municipal ordinance.  These entities are not licensed under chapter 497, Florida Statutes, and the Division does not have any authority over them.
A pet can be buried with its owner if the animal pre-deceased the owner. The pet’s ashes may be placed in the grave or crypt with the owner’s remains. There is no state law prohibiting this activity.  However, a cemetery’s by-laws will determine if it allows this practice on its property.

Preneed Contracts

All sellers of preneed funeral and cemetery merchandise and/or services are required to be licensed by the State of Florida under chapter 497, Florida Statutes.

All preneed contracts must be secured by one of the following:

  • A trust account; or
  • An individual insurance policy

The contract will state which method of security the company is utilizing.

Trust funds are under the control of an authorized trustee.

The Division conducts regular examinations of the books, accounts, and records of the licensed companies to ensure that all trusting requirements are met.

If a funeral home or cemetery goes out of business, another company may be found that will honor the preneed contract. The Preneed Funeral Contract Consumer Protection Trust Fund is also available to assist with funding to ensure that the preneed contract is fulfilled.

A preneed contract should have a cancellation clause in the contract. A contract is subject to the law at the time the contract was written. Since October 1, 1993, all contracts for burial spaces, burial and funeral merchandise, and services are 100% refundable in the first 30 days of the contract if the consumer requests a refund in writing.

Services and cash advances may be canceled at any time for 100% of the contract price paid.

After the first 30 days, preneed contracts written since October 1, 1993, allow for specific items of merchandise to be fully refunded only if the licensee cannot or does not deliver the merchandise as required in the contract. A licensee that is willing and capable of delivering the purchased merchandise is not required to issue a refund.

A purchaser does have the right to sell the merchandise if he or she so desires.

Cemetery Preneed Contract Cancellation - Old Law

  • Call the Division regarding refunds involving contracts written prior to June 1988.
  • For contracts written from June 1988 to October 1, 1993, no refund is due unless the consumer can within the first year of execution of the contract show an intentional violation of the provision which relates to the negotiation, sale or performance of the contract.

Funeral Establishment/Direct Disposers Preneed Contract Cancellation - Old Law

For preneed contracts written prior to October 1, 1993, by funeral establishments and direct disposers for funeral merchandise and services, the refund requirement varies based upon the year in which the contract was written.

  • 1977 = 100% plus 6% of the contract amount paid
  • 1978 to 1993 = 100% of the contract amount paid
No.  Any accumulated earnings on a preneed contract are paid to the licensee.

In many instances the company may have just changed its name or sold its preneed contracts to another company. Contact the Division at (850) 413-3039 to determine if there has been a change in name or ownership.

If the company sold its preneed contracts to another business, your contract would retain the same terms as when it was written.

If your contract was not assigned to another preneed company, the consumer can choose a company for at-need services and that company can file a claim against the Preneed Funeral Contract Consumer Protection Trust Fund for payment of any funds not trusted up to the amount paid on the original contract.

If there was a problem with proper trusting by the company that issued the preneed contract, the consumer can file a claim for payment from the Preneed Funeral Contract Consumer Protection Trust Fund. 

You can receive a claim form by contacting the Division at (850) 413-3039 or download the appropriate form from our website at: 

https://myfloridacfo.com/division/funeralcemetery/consumer-help/preneed-claims

Check the language of the preneed contract.  Most contracts for funeral and cemetery merchandise have language limiting the liability of the seller for delivery delays caused by any such incident that is beyond the control of the cemetery or funeral home.

An irrevocable contract is written only for people who are qualified applicants for, or recipients of, supplemental security income, temporary assistance under the WAGES program or Medicaid. Once the contract is signed, it cannot be canceled and refunded. It is a means for a person or family to set aside a portion of their assets for future burial and funeral services.

The amount of the irrevocable contract will not be counted as an asset when the person applies for aid.

La oficina local de Medicaid puede responder cualquier pregunta adicional acerca de este tema.


Yes, unless the person is a currently licensed Funeral Director.
Sí.
Yes, unless the person is a currently licensed funeral director.
Yes. Insurance policies cannot exceed $21,000 per person for preneed contracts. Annual increases are allowed based on the National CPI (Consumer Price Index).  Please refer to section 626.785, Florida Statutes, for additional information.
A company is allowed to sell a maximum policy or aggregate policies not to exceed $21,000 per person in conjunction with preneed funeral merchandise and services.  Please refer to section 626.785, Florida Statutes.

Divulgación Pública

Un titular de licencia que ofrezca servicios, mercaderías o derechos de entierro al público debe:

  • Provide by telephone, upon request, accurate information regarding the retail prices of burial merchandise and services offered for sale by the licensee.
  • Fully disclose all regularly offered services and merchandise prior to the selection of burial services or merchandise. The full disclosure required shall identify the prices of all burial rights, services, and merchandise provided by the licensee.
  • Provide a good faith estimate of all fees and costs the customer will incur to use any burial rights, merchandise, or services purchased.
  • Provide an adequate description of the merchandise covered by the contract to include, when applicable, model, manufacturer, and other relevant specifications.

Consumer Resources and Frequently Asked Questions


La División de Funerales, Cementerios y Servicios al Consumidor ayuda a los consumidores que tengan preguntas o quejas. Se puede contactar con la división al 850-413-3039 o al Número Gratuito de la Florida al 800-323-2627.

Escoja una categoría:
Quejas | Cementerios | Cementerios Exentos
Cremación | Servicios Funerarios | Licencias | Pets |  Preneed Contracts
Preneed Sales | Divulgación Pública