Section 27-17A-2


As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) ALTERNATIVE CONTAINER. A nonmetal receptacle or enclosure, without ornamentation or a fixed interior lining, which is designed for the encasement of human remains and which is made of cardboard, pressed-wood, composition materials (with or without an outside covering), or pouches of canvas or other materials.

(2) ARRANGEMENT CONFERENCE. The meeting occurring either at need or preneed between the seller and the purchaser during which funeral or cemetery merchandise and services are discussed.

(3) ARRANGEMENT CONFERENCE FEE. The charge to the purchaser in conjunction with the arrangement conference.

(4) AT NEED. At the time of death, or immediately following death.

(5) AUTHORIZING AGENT. One who is lawfully authorized to control the final disposition of human remains.

(6) BELOW-GROUND CRYPT. A preplaced enclosed chamber, which is usually constructed of reinforced concrete, poured in place or a precast unit installed in quantity, either side-by-side or multiple depth, and covered by earth or sod and known also as a lawn crypt or turf-top crypt.

(7) BENEFICIARY. One who benefits from an act, such as one for whom a preneed contract is entered into or the successor-in-interest of a life insurance policy.

(8) BURIAL. The placement of human remains in a grave space or lawn crypt.

(9) CASH ADVANCE. Any item of service or merchandise described to a purchaser as a "cash advance," "accommodation," "cash disbursement," or similar term. A cash advance item is also any item obtained from a third party and paid for by the seller on the purchaser's behalf. Cash advance items may include, but are not limited to, cemetery or crematory services, pallbearers, public transportation, clergy honoraria, flowers, musicians or singers, nurses, obituary notices, gratuities, and death certificates.

(10) CASKET. A rigid container which is designed for the encasement of human remains and which is usually constructed of wood, metal, or like material, and ornamented and lined with fabric.

(11) CEMETERY. A place that is established, maintained, managed, operated, or improved and which is dedicated to and used or intended to be used for the final disposition of human remains and their memorialization.

(12) CEMETERY AUTHORITY. Any person who owns or controls a cemetery or conducts cemetery business.

(13) CEMETERY MERCHANDISE. Any personal property offered for sale, contracted for sale, or sold for use in connection with the burial of, final disposition, memorialization, interment, entombment, or inurnment of human remains by a cemetery authority. Cemetery merchandise specifically includes, but is not limited to, the casket, the outer burial container, and the memorial.

(14) CEMETERY SERVICES. Services provided by a cemetery authority for interment, entombment, inurnment, and installation of cemetery merchandise.

(15) CERTIFICATE HOLDER. A funeral establishment, cemetery authority, third-party seller, or any other person to whom a valid certificate of authority to sell preneed contracts has been granted by the commissioner.

(16) COLUMBARIUM. A structure or room or space in a building or structure used or intended to be used for the inurnment of cremated remains.

(17) COMMISSIONER. The Alabama Commissioner of Insurance.

(18) CREMATED REMAINS. The bone fragments remaining after the cremation process, which may include the residue of any foreign materials that were cremated with the human remains.

(19) CREMATED REMAINS CONTAINER. A receptacle in which cremated remains are placed.

(20) CREMATION. The irreversible process of reducing human remains to bone fragments through intense heat and evaporation, performed in a specifically designed furnace or retort, which may include any other mechanical or thermal process whereby the bone fragments are pulverized, or otherwise further reduced in size or quantity. Cremation is a process and is a method of final disposition.

(21) CREMATORY AUTHORITY. Any person who owns or controls a crematory.

(22) DEATH CERTIFICATE. A legal document containing vital statistics pertaining to the life and death of the deceased.

(23) DECEASED or DECEDENT. One who is no longer living.

(24) EMBALMER. One authorized by law to engage in embalming.

(25) EMBALMING. A procedure whereby human remains are chemically treated by injection for temporary preservation including, but not limited to, the act of disinfecting, preserving, and restoring human remains to a natural life-like appearance.

(26) ENCASEMENT. The placement of human remains in a rigid container, including, but not limited to, a casket or urn.

(27) ENDOWMENT CARE. The maintenance and repair of all places in the cemetery, subject to the rules and regulations of the cemetery authority; may be known also as endowed care, perpetual care, improvement care, or permanent care.

(28) ENDOWMENT CARE TRUST FUND. An irrevocable trust fund set aside by law with a trustee, along with the income therefrom, to provide for the endowment care of the cemetery.

(29) ENTOMBMENT. The act of placing human remains in a mausoleum crypt.

(30) FINAL DISPOSITION. The lawful disposal of human remains whether by interment, entombment, burial at sea, cremation, or other method.

(31) FUNERAL. The rites held commemorating the deceased with human remains present.

(32) FUNERAL BENEFICIARY. The person or persons who will receive the benefit of the funeral and cemetery goods and services to be delivered under a preneed contract at the time of his, her, or their death.

(33) FUNERAL DIRECTING. The act or service of conducting funerals and counseling with survivors and preparing human remains, other than by embalming, for the interment or other means of disposition, and may include the management and supervision of all operations in a funeral establishment, which may or may not include the practice of embalming.

(34) FUNERAL DIRECTOR. One authorized by law to engage in funeral directing.

(35) FUNERAL ESTABLISHMENT. A place of business used in the care, planning, and preparation for final disposition or transportation of human remains, or any place where one or more are engaged and represent themselves to be engaged in the business of embalming or funeral directing.

(36) FUNERAL MERCHANDISE. Any personal property offered for sale, contracted for sale, or sold for use in connection with funeral directing. Funeral merchandise specifically includes, but is not limited to, the following:

a. Alternative container.

b. Casket.

c. Outer burial container.

d. Urn.

e. Memorials.

(37) FUNERAL SERVICE. Services provided by a funeral establishment in connection with funeral directing, interment of human remains, and installation of memorials.

(38) GRAVE SPACE. A space of ground in a cemetery that is used or intended to be used for in-ground burial.

(39) HUMAN REMAINS. The body of a decedent and includes the body in any stage of decomposition and cremated remains.

(40) INTERMENT. The final disposition of human remains by burial, entombment, or inurnment.

(41) INTERMENT RIGHT. The right to inter human remains in a particular interment space in the cemetery.

(42) INTERMENT SPACE. A space intended for the final disposition of human remains including, but not limited to, a grave space, mausoleum crypt, niche, and below-ground crypt.

(43) INURNMENT. The act of placing cremated remains in a receptacle including, but not limited to, an urn and depositing it in a niche.

(44) MAUSOLEUM. A chamber or structure used or intended to be used for entombment.

(45) MAUSOLEUM CRYPT. A chamber of a mausoleum of sufficient size for entombment of human remains.

(46) MEMORIAL. Any product, other than a mausoleum or columbarium, used for identifying an interment space or for commemoration of the life, deeds, or career of some decedent including, but not limited to, a monument, marker, niche plate, urn garden plaque, crypt plate, cenotaph, marker bench, and vase.

(47) MEMORIAL RETAILER. Any person offering or selling memorials at retail to the public.

(48) MEMORIALIZATION. Any permanent system designed to mark or record the names and other data pertaining to a decedent.

(49) NICHE. A space usually within a columbarium used or intended to be used for inurnment of cremated remains.

(50) OUTER BURIAL CONTAINER. A container which is designed for placement in the grave space around the casket or the urn including, but not limited to, containers commonly known as burial vaults, grave boxes, and grave liners.

(51) PERSON. Any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, association, trustee, government or governmental subdivision, agency, or other entity, or any combination thereof.

(52) PREARRANGEMENT. The term applied to completing the details for selection of merchandise or services on a preneed basis, which may or may not include provisions for prefunding or prepayment.

(53) PREDEVELOPED. Designated areas or buildings within a cemetery that have been mapped and planned for future construction but are not yet completed.

(54) PREDEVELOPED INTERMENT SPACE. An interment space that is planned for future construction but is not yet completed.

(55) PREFUND. The term applied to completing the financial details of a prearrangement, which include provisions for funding or prepayment.

(56) PRENEED. Any time prior to death.

(57) PRENEED CONTRACT. A written contract to purchase funeral merchandise, funeral services, cemetery merchandise, or cemetery services from the seller on a preneed basis.

(58) PRENEED CONTRACT TRUST FUND. The funds received pursuant to a preneed contract which are required by law to be held in trust until the merchandise or services purchased pursuant to the contract are delivered or provided or until otherwise lawfully withdrawn.

(59) PROVIDER. A person who may or may not be the seller, who will actually provide the merchandise and services under the terms of a preneed contract.

(60) PURCHASE PRICE. The amount paid by the purchaser for merchandise and services purchased under a preneed contract, exclusive of finance charges, sales tax, charges relating to interment rights, arrangement conference fees, or charges for credit life insurance.

(61) PURCHASER. The person who purchases a preneed contract either on his or her behalf or on behalf of a third party beneficiary.

(62) RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION. An organization formed primarily for religious purposes which has qualified for exemption from federal income tax as an exempt organization under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

(63) SCATTERING. The lawful dispersion of cremated remains.

(64) SELLER. Any person offering or selling merchandise or services on a preneed basis including, but not limited to, funeral establishments, cemetery authorities, crematory authorities, memorial retailers, direct disposers, etc.

(65) SPECIAL CARE. Any care provided, or to be provided, that is supplemental to, or in excess of, endowment care, in accordance with the specific directions of any donor of funds for such purposes.

(66) SUCCESSOR-IN-INTEREST. A person who lawfully follows another in ownership or control of property or rights.

(67) THIRD-PARTY SELLER. Any person, who is not a funeral establishment or a cemetery authority, engaged in the sale of preneed funeral merchandise or cemetery merchandise.

(68) TRUSTEE. Any person, state or national bank, trust company, or federally insured savings and loan association lawfully appointed as fiduciary over funds deposited by one or more purchasers of a preneed contract or deposited pursuant to an endowment care trust fund; not to be confused with a board of trustees.

(69) URN. A receptacle for the encasement of cremated remains.

(Act 2002-74, p. 221, §1; Act 2014-216, p. 653, §1.)