HB 461 Modifies provisions relating to the right of sepulcher and the death registration process

     Handler: Brown

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

HB 461 - This act modifies the definition "surviving spouse" in provisions of law relating to the merit system.

This act modifies provisions regarding the death registration process and the right of sepulcher.

Under current law, the medical certification from a medical provider is entered into the electronic death registration system. This act requires an attestation from the medical provider who completed the medical certification to be entered into the system as well.

Additionally, if the State Registrar determines that information on a document or record submitted to a local registrar is incomplete, the State Registrar shall return the records or documents with the incomplete information to the local registrar for correction by the data provider, funeral director, or person in charge of the final disposition.

Current law provides a list, in the order of priority, of next-of-kin who have the right to control the disposition of a dead human body. This act provides that the surviving spouse shall not be considered as next-of-kin if an action for dissolution of marriage has been filed and is pending in a court of competent jurisdiction. Additionally, the next-of-kin of a deceased person may delegate the final disposition of the deceased to an agent through a power of attorney.

Under this act, an individual with a superior claim to the disposition of the deceased may be notified in person or by written notice with delivery confirmation, rather than "personally served with written notice" by a person with an inferior claim who has the desire to exercise the right to control the final disposition of the deceased.

Finally, this act repeals a provision allowing the State Registrar to adopt pilot programs or voluntary electronic death registration programs until an electronic death registration system is certified. Additionally, this act repeals a provision requiring the Division of Community and Public Health within the Department of Health and Senior Services to create a working group for the purposes of evaluating the electronic vital records system and submit a report on findings to the General Assembly by January 1, 2016.

This act is substantially similar to SB 282 (2019), SCS/HCS/HB 1597 (2018), and provisions in HB 909 (2017).


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