senate Bill S4399

Requires cemetery corporations to provide customers with a bill of rights

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 04 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CORPORATIONS, AUTHORITIES AND COMMISSIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CORPORATIONS, AUTHORITIES AND COMMISSIONS

Summary

Requires cemetery corporations to provide customers with a bill of rights.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4219
Versions:
S4399
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Corporations, Authorities And Commissions
Law Section:
Not-for-Profit Corporation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง1510, N-PC L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S3808, A7036
2007-2008: A7177

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4399

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to a cemetery
customer's bill of rights

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to require the conspicuous posting and
distribution of a cemetery customer's bill of rights.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1510 of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law is amended by
adding a new paragraph, which requires the posting and distribution
of the cemetery customer's bill of rights.

JUSTIFICATION:
Death touches every New York family. Death care is one of the largest
expenses forced upon families. Purchasing interment rights whether
for burial, entombment in a mausoleum crypt or placement of cremains
in a columbarium niche typically costs thousands of dollars. Added to
this is the cost of a funeral, opening and closing the grave and the
cost of purchasing and placing a marker or monument.

Additionally, at the time that important decisions are being made for
a dying or dead family member the survivors are under emotional
distress and are pressured to act quickly, forcing them to make
expensive, but perhaps, unwise decisions. The very nature of death
care issues and the vulnerability of a captive consumer make the
death care industry similar to the insurance and banking industries
in the need for close government regulation. The general public is
poorly informed about cemetery issues.

Although the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule requires that
important funeral consumer rights be included in a funeral home's
General Price List (GPL), which is to be offered in any face-to-face
meeting of funeral director and customer at the beginning of any
discussion about arranging a funeral, there is no comparable federal
requirement for disclosure by cemeteries. Disclosure is left to the
states.
Although New York has a requirement for a document similar to the GPL
for funeral homes, no comparable document exists for cemeteries. The
combination of uneducated cemetery personnel and an uninformed public
puts the customer at risk Families are in the unenviable position of
having to rely on the knowledge and honesty of cemetery sales
personnel.

A simple one-page Cemetery Consumer's Bill of Rights posted in the
cemetery corporation's office and given to every potential customer
and to anyone who wants a copy will quickly educate and empower the
cemetery customer, by providing information about very important
rights when the customer most needs it, that is when considering the
purchase or exercise of interment rights.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2007-08: S.5492 Corporations, Authorities and Commissions/A.7177
Passed Assembly
2009-10: Corporations, Authorities & Commissions

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4399

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 4, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. FLANAGAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Corporations,  Authorities
  and Commissions

AN  ACT  to  amend  the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to a
  cemetery customer's bill of rights

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section  1510  of  the  not-for-profit corporation law is
amended by adding a new paragraph (n) to read as follows:
  (N) POSTING AND  DISTRIBUTION  OF  THE  CEMETERY  CUSTOMER'S  BILL  OF
RIGHTS. (1) THE CEMETERY CUSTOMER'S BILL OF RIGHTS SHALL BE CONSPICUOUS-
LY  POSTED  BY  THE  CORPORATION IN EACH OF ITS OFFICES. A COPY SHALL BE
PROVIDED TO EACH PERSON AT THE BEGINNING OF ANY FACE-TO-FACE  DISCUSSION
ABOUT  ARRANGING  FOR AN INTERMENT OR PURCHASING INTERMENT RIGHTS OR ANY
OTHER GOODS OR SERVICES OFFERED BY THE CEMETERY.   ADDITIONALLY, A  COPY
OF SUCH BILL OF RIGHTS SHALL BE GIVEN TO ANY PERSON UPON REQUEST.
  (2) THE CEMETERY CUSTOMER'S BILL OF RIGHTS SHALL BE ESSENTIALLY IN THE
FOLLOWING FORM.
                    CEMETERY CUSTOMER'S BILL OF RIGHTS
  ALL  NEW  YORK  CEMETERIES  ARE  NOT-FOR-PROFIT.  THIS CEMETERY (NAME,
ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER) IS REGULATED BY THE  NYS  DIVISION  OF  CEME-
TERIES.  THE  NEAREST  OFFICE IS LOCATED AT: (ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER,
E-MAIL ADDRESS).
  WHEN YOU BUY CEMETERY PROPERTY, YOU ARE BUYING THE RIGHT TO INTERMENT,
NOT AN ACTUAL PIECE OF LAND. WHEN YOU SELL CEMETERY  PROPERTY,  IT  MUST
FIRST  BE  OFFERED  BACK TO THE CEMETERY. THE MINIMUM PRICE THE CEMETERY
MUST PAY TO BUY BACK THE PROPERTY IS SET BY LAW. YOU CAN ALSO GIFT  YOUR
RIGHT TO INTERMENT IF YOU ARE THE LOT OWNER.
  YOU  CAN  BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO INTERMENT ONLY FOR NON-PAYMENT OF THE
TOTAL PURCHASE PRICE, NON-PAYMENT OF INTERMENT PRICE OR NON-PAYMENT OF A
TAX AUTHORIZED BY THE CEMETERY BOARD.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04097-01-1

S. 4399                             2

  THOUGH NEW YORK LAW DOES REQUIRE THAT A CONTAINER  OR  WRAPPINGS  USED
FOR  CREMATION BE NON-METAL, IT DOES NOT REQUIRE EMBALMING FOR INTERMENT
(BURIAL, ENTOMBMENT OR PLACEMENT OF CREMAINS IN A NICHE OR  GRAVE).  NEW
YORK  LAW DOES NOT LIMIT THE NUMBER OF CREMATION URNS THAT CAN BE PLACED
IN  A  GRAVE.  NEW YORK LAW ALSO DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY PARTICULAR TYPE OF
CASKET OR EXTERNAL WRAPPINGS FOR BURIAL  OR  PLACEMENT  IN  A  MAUSOLEUM
CRYPT. NOR DOES IT RESTRICT THE TYPE OF CONTAINER USED TO PLACE ASHES IN
A NICHE OR GRAVE.
  NEW  YORK  LAW  REQUIRES  THAT  RULES AND REGULATIONS OF A CEMETERY BE
REASONABLE AND THAT THEY HAVE WRITTEN CEMETERY BOARD APPROVAL. NEW  YORK
LAW  REQUIRES THAT A WRITTEN CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OR USE OF A LOT, PLOT
OR PART THEREOF SHALL HAVE ATTACHED THERETO AND MADE A  PART  THEREOF  A
COPY  OF  THE  RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CEMETERY CORPORATION OR SUCH
PARTS OF SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS RELATE TO THE SIZE AND  PLACEMENT
OF MONUMENTS, RESTRICTIONS ON PLOT USAGE, WARRANTIES, OBLIGATIONS OF THE
CEMETERY  CORPORATION  AND  FINANCIAL  OBLIGATIONS AND DUTIES OF THE LOT
OWNER.
  YOU HAVE THE RIGHT:
  1. TO A COPY OF THE CURRENT LIST OF PRICES AND CHARGES OF THE CEMETERY
FOR A SMALL FEE.
  2. TO HAVE INCLUDED IN YOUR PURCHASE CONTRACT AND  DEED  ANY  CEMETERY
BOARD  APPROVED RESTRICTIONS ON THE TYPE OF CONTAINER USED FOR BURIAL OR
PLACEMENT OF ASHES IN A NICHE OR GRAVE.
  3. TO HAVE INCLUDED IN YOUR PURCHASE CONTRACT AND  DEED  ANY  CEMETERY
BOARD  APPROVED  REQUIREMENTS  FOR  MAUSOLEUM  CRYPT  ENTOMBMENT SUCH AS
EMBALMING, SPECIAL CASKETS OR IN-CRYPT BAGS OR TRAYS.
  4. TO HAVE INCLUDED IN YOUR PURCHASE CONTRACT AND  DEED  ANY  CEMETERY
BOARD  APPROVED  RESTRICTIONS ON THE TYPE OF MONUMENT OR MARKER THAT CAN
BE PLACED ON THE GRAVE, NICHE OR MAUSOLEUM CRYPT.
  5. TO BE NOTIFIED OF ANY RULES, RESTRICTIONS OR CHARGES THAT APPLY  TO
MARKERS OR MONUMENTS PURCHASED ELSEWHERE.
  6.  TO  FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT "PERPETUAL CARE" MEANS INCLUDING WHETHER
IT IS REQUIRED OR OPTIONAL.
  7. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO  HAVE  ALL  CONTRACTS  INCLUDING  PURCHASE  AND
PERPETUAL CARE CONTRACTS REVIEWED BY A LAWYER BEFORE SIGNING.
  8.  TO  CHOOSE  A  CONCRETE  LINER,  IF  AN  OUTER BURIAL CONTAINER IS
REQUIRED FOR BURIAL IN A GRAVE PURCHASED AFTER 1/1/85. THIS  REQUIREMENT
MUST BE WAIVED FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS.
  9. TO HAVE MONEY PAID FOR A GRAVE LINER PRE-NEED HELD IN TRUST.
  10.  TO BE NOTIFIED OF ANY RESTRICTIONS AND CHARGES RELATIVE TO PLANT-
INGS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth  day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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