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New Laws for Cemeteries to Take Effect on January 1, 2016, Burial Services, Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers 12/29/2015

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New Laws for Cemeteries to Take Effect on January 1, 2016

Pursuant to Tenn. Code. Ann. § 4-3-1306(d), you are receiving this notice because you have elected to receive notification by e-mail of certain changes or potential changes to the law applicable to your profession.

On April 15, 2015, the legislature passed Public Chapter 288, which can be found at  These changes will take effect on January 1, 2016.

Public Chapter 288 amends multiple parts of the Cemetery Act (Act): it amends the definition of lawn crypts; clarifies that cemeteries do not have to pay consumer protection fees for pre-need contracts that were written and then cancelled before the next renewal; adds language to include those who lease or rent lots, grave spaces, crypts, niches, and burial rights; increases the minimum amount to be deposited into the Improvement Care Trust Fund for land from fifty cents to one dollar per square foot; eliminates the requirement of an Improvement Care deposit for free spaces given for minors; allows a cemetery to take a credit in the Improvement Care Trust Fund for cancelled contracts if the credit is applied within twelve months of the cancellation; decreases the amount of time cemeteries must wait to cancel contracts from twelve consecutive months of nonpayment to ninety days; and gives guidelines for the timing of audit reports issued by Burial Services.

If you have any questions or concerns about these new requirements, please contact Ellery Richardson, Assistant General Counsel, at (615) 741-3072 or electronically at

Dept. of Commerce & Insurance | 500 James Robertson Pkwy | Nashville, TN 37243-0565
(615) 741-2241
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