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07/20/2024 06:03 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 14, 2024 12:11 PM
From: Representative Paul Schemel
To: All House members
Subject: Disposition of Human Remains for Pre-planned Funerals
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation which amends Title 20 regarding the right of an individual with a pre-paid and pre-planned funeral to direct the disposition of their remains and to provide for an exception for cremation.

Under current law, individuals who have a pre-paid and pre-planned funeral and desire to be cremated must still have authorizations from the spouse or next of kin, unless the individual has a specific directive in his or her will.  Many attorneys who assist individuals in estate planning discourage individuals from putting funeral directives in their wills because the will is typically not discovered and read until after the funeral.  Obtaining authorization from a separated (but not divorced) spouse, or from the next of kin (particularly when the individual has multiple children, or no children), can be very challenging.

My bill will amend section 305 of Title 20 to permit an individual who has a pre-paid and pre-planned funeral to direct the disposition of their remains.  This authorization will occur through a written statement signed by the individual and witnessed by two other people who have no material interest in the individual’s estate.  This legislation will pre-empt current regulations of the State Board of Funeral Directors that require written authorization from the family of the individual who is to be cremated.

This legislation has the support from the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB2070