Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
5/14/2021

Part IV. Standards of Practice and Conduct

18VAC47-20-150. Grounds for disciplinary action.

The board may suspend a license or registration for a stated period or indefinitely, revoke any license or registration, censure or reprimand any person licensed or registered by the board or place such person on probation for such time as it may designate when any licensee or registrant has been found to have violated or cooperated with others in violating any provision of Chapter 23.1 (§ 54.1-2310 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia or any regulation of the board.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000.

18VAC47-20-160. Maintenance of license and registration.

A. Any change in the name and address of each cemetery in Virginia in which the cemetery company has a business interest, the name and address of all officers and directors of the cemetery company, the registered agent for the cemetery company, or the compliance agent must be reported to the board in writing within 30 days after the change as required by § 54.1-2311 of the Code of Virginia. A new license shall be required if there is a change in ownership of the cemetery company or whenever the legal business entity holding a cemetery company license is dissolved or altered to form a new business entity.

B. A cemetery company wishing to add a cemetery to its license shall complete a form provided by the board and submit the fee as prescribed in 18VAC47-20-70. Both the cemetery company and the cemetery being added to the registration must meet the requirements found in Chapter 23.1 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and 18VAC47-20-30. Sales personnel of the new cemetery will be required to register in accordance with 18VAC47-20-40.

C. Any change in the name and home address of any registrant must be reported to the board in writing within 30 days after the change.

D. The board shall not be responsible for the licensee's or registrant's failure to receive notices, communications and correspondence caused by the licensee's or registrant's failure to promptly notify the board of any change of address.

E. Sales personnel shall be issued a registration to the compliance agent at the place of business of the licensed cemetery company with which the registrant is affiliated or at which the registrant is employed. When any registrant is discharged or in any way terminates his employment or affiliation with a licensed cemetery company, or when the cemetery company's license is suspended or revoked, it shall be the duty of the compliance agent to return the registration to the board within 10 calendar days of the date of such discharge or termination.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000.

18VAC47-20-170. Display and verification of license or registration.

Licenses and registrations must be visibly displayed at the place of business of the licensed cemetery company. All licensees and registrants must provide verification of licensure or registration upon request of the public.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000.

18VAC47-20-180. Records of interments.

A permanent record shall be kept of every interment in the cemetery, showing the date of the interment, the name of the person interred, together with information identifying the specific location in which the interment was made. For interments made pursuant to § 54.1-2312.01 of the Code of Virginia, the permanent records shall also include the type and name of the pet interred and the name of the owner with information identifying the specific location in which the pet interment was made.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201, 54.1-2312.01, and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. September 1, 2016.

18VAC47-20-190. Prohibited activities.

In addition to the acts set forth in §§ 54.1-2314, 54.1-2315, and 54.1-2316 of the Code of Virginia, the board may discipline a licensee or registrant for the following acts:

1. Employing or affiliating with by independent contract, sales personnel not registered with the board.

2. Unless otherwise addressed in this chapter, failing to retain for a period of three years all records required by this chapter or Chapter 23.1 (§ 54.1-2310 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia at the place of business in Virginia of the licensed cemetery company.

3. Failing to produce to the board or any of its agents, upon request, any document, book, or record required by this chapter or Chapter 23.1 (§ 54.1-2310 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

4. Failing to respond to an inquiry by the board or any of its agents within 21 days.

5. Advertising in any name other than the name in which licensed or registered.

6. Furnishing substantially inaccurate or incomplete information to the board in obtaining, renewing, reinstating, or maintaining a license or registration.

7. Allowing a cemetery company license or sales personnel registration to be used by an unlicensed cemetery company or unregistered sales personnel.

8. Acting as or being an ostensible licensee for undisclosed persons who do or will control or direct, directly or indirectly, the operations of the licensee's business.

9. Having failed to inform the board in writing, within 30 days, that the company, an officer, director, or compliance agent has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere or was convicted and found guilty of any felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.

10. Having failed to inform the board in writing, within 30 days, of a disciplinary action in a jurisdiction where licensed, including suspension, revocation, or surrender in connection with a disciplinary action.

11. Failing to reasonably maintain the buildings, grounds, and facilities of a cemetery licensed to a cemetery company.

12. Failing to file any report required by Chapter 23.1 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

13. Engaging in negligent, improper, fraudulent, or dishonest conduct.

14. Failing to segregate entirely the section of the cemetery dedicated to the interment of pets or the interment of human remains and the pets of such deceased humans by means such as hedge, wall, tree line, fence, roadway, or other similar physical barrier or boundary.

15. Permitting the interment of an uncremated pet in the same grave, crypt, or niche as the remains of a human.

16. If a cemetery company has a section devoted to the interment of pets or the interment of human remains and the pets of such deceased humans, any advertisements failing to clearly state the cemetery company has such section or sections in its cemetery.

17. Failing to clearly mark the section or sections devoted to the interment of pets or the interment of human remains and the pets of such deceased humans with signage that is reasonably apparent to the general public.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201, 54.1-2312.01, and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. September 1, 2016; Volume 37, Issue 4, eff. December 1, 2020.

18VAC47-20-200. Perpetual care trust fund and bonding requirement.

A. Each licensed cemetery company shall establish a perpetual care trust fund in accordance with § 54.1-2316 of the Code of Virginia.

B. If the trustee for the perpetual care trust fund is other than a Virginia trust company or trust subsidiary or a federally insured bank or savings institution doing business in the Commonwealth, the trustee shall be approved by the board and shall deposit a fidelity bond in accordance with § 54.1-2317 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Deposits into the fund shall be made in accordance with §§ 54.1-2319 through 54.1-2321 of the Code of Virginia.

D. The income from the perpetual care trust fund shall be used in accordance with § 54.1-2322 of the Code of Virginia.

E. Each licensed cemetery company shall submit written financial reports regarding perpetual care trust funds to the board as prescribed by §§ 54.1-2323 and 54.1-2324 of the Code of Virginia.

F. Transfer of funds to another trustee shall be done in accordance with § 54.1-2337 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000.

18VAC47-20-210. Preneed trust fund and bonding requirements.

A. Each licensed cemetery company shall establish a preneed trust fund and make deposits in accordance with § 54.1-2315 of the Code of Virginia.

B. If the trustee for the preneed trust fund is other than a Virginia trust company or trust subsidiary or a federally insured bank or savings institution doing business in the Commonwealth, the trustee shall be approved by the board and shall deposit a fidelity bond with the board in accordance with § 54.1-2326 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Deposits into the fund shall be made in accordance with § 54.1-2325 of the Code of Virginia.

D. All funds shall be handled in accordance with §§ 54.1-2329 through 54.1-2331 of the Code of Virginia.

E. Each licensed cemetery company shall submit a written financial report regarding preneed trust accounts to the board as prescribed by § 54.1-2333 of the Code of Virginia.

F. Transfer of funds to another trustee shall be done in accordance with § 54.1-2337 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2007.

18VAC47-20-220. Itemized statement and general price list of burial fees to be furnished.

Cemetery companies shall furnish a written general price list and a written itemized statement of goods and services they provide. This itemized statement shall include, but is not limited to, burial vaults and other burial receptacles, other merchandise, facilities used, and other professional services. Prices for merchandise may be stated as a range of values. Prices for services must be specific for each type of service, including any difference in prices based on the day or time the service is provided. This list shall be set forth in a clear and conspicuous manner.

The list shall be available to individuals inquiring in person about burial arrangements or the prices of property or services. In addition, upon beginning a discussion of burial arrangements or the selection of any property or services, the general price list shall be offered by the cemetery property.

Prior to execution of any contract, cemetery companies shall provide the general price list and itemized statement of goods and services to the individual or individuals entering the contract. The contract shall include an acknowledgment signed by the individual or individuals and the cemetery sales personnel stating the cemetery company provided the general price list and itemized statement of goods and services to the individual or individuals prior to the execution of the contract.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 3, eff. December 1, 2015.

18VAC47-20-230. Preneed burial contracts.

A. All preneed burial contracts must be made on forms prescribed by the board in accordance with § 54.1-2328 of the Code of Virginia and must contain the following disclosures:

1. Identifies the seller, seller's license number, contract buyer and person for whom the contract is purchased if other than the contract buyer;

2. Contains a complete description of the property or services purchased;

3. Clearly discloses whether the price of the property and services purchased are guaranteed;

4. States, for funds required to be trusted pursuant to § 54.1-2325 of the Code of Virginia, the amount to be trusted and the name of the trustee;

5. Contains the name, address and telephone number of the board and lists the board as the regulatory agency which handles consumer complaints;

6. Provides that any purchaser who makes payment under the contract may terminate the agreement within three days of execution and that such purchaser shall be refunded all consideration paid or delivered, less amounts paid for any property or supplies that have been delivered;

7. Provides that if the particular property or services specified in the contract are unavailable at the time of delivery, the seller shall be required to furnish property or services similar in size and style and at least equal in quality of material and workmanship and that the representative of the deceased shall have the right to choose the property or services to be substituted, which shall be at least equal or reasonably equivalent in quality of material, workmanship, and cost;

8. Discloses any additional costs that the purchaser may be required to pay at-need, including the disclosure of the cost of opening and closing the grave;

9. Complies with all disclosure requirements imposed by the board;

10. Is executed in duplicate and a signed copy given to the buyer;

11. Provides that the contract buyer shall have the right to change the contract provider at any time prior to the furnishing of the property or services, excluding any mausoleum crypt or garden crypt, contracted for under the preneed burial contract. If the contract seller will not be furnishing the property and services to the purchaser, the contract seller shall attach to the preneed burial contract a copy of the seller's agreement with the provider.

B. Any preneed burial contract sold or offered by any cemetery company or agent with a trust fund deposit of less than 100% shall be required to include the following printed statement in capitalized letters, in 10-point, bold-faced type:

THIS PRENEED BURIAL CONTRACT REQUIRES THE PLACEMENT IN TRUST OF A MINIMUM OF 40% OF THE FUNDS INCLUDED IN THIS CONTRACT. THE BALANCE OF FUNDS MAY BE USED FOR CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE CEMETERY AND ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE PLACED IN TRUST.

C. Each seller of a preneed burial contract shall file with the board, upon request, a detailed account of all contracts and transactions regarding preneed burial contracts in accordance with § 54.1-2332 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000.

18VAC47-20-240. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 13, eff. April 12, 2000; Errata, 16:14 VA.R. 1911 March 27, 2000; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2007.

18VAC47-20-250. Compliance agent or designee conduct.

Each cemetery company and cemetery affiliated with a cemetery company shall be supervised by a compliance agent or designee.  The compliance agent or designee shall exercise reasonable and adequate supervision of the provision of services by employees of the cemetery company.  Factors to be considered in determining whether the supervision is reasonable and adequate include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. The availability of the compliance agent or designee to all cemetery company employees and to the public to answer questions within a reasonable time pertaining to the operation of the cemetery company.

2. The availability of training and written procedures and policies that provide, without limitation, clear guidance in the following areas:

a. Required deposits for the perpetual care trust fund;

b. Required deposits for the preneed trust fund;

c. Proper handling of preneed burial contracts;

d. Proper handling of deposits to the perpetual care trust fund;

e. Proper handling of deposits to the preneed trust fund;

f. Interment records;

g. Itemized statement of goods and services provided;

h. General price list;

i. Advertising;

j. Solicitation;

k. Proper care, maintenance, administration and embellishment of the cemetery;

l. Such other matters as necessary to assure the competence of licensees and registrants to comply with this chapter and Chapter 23.1 (§ 54.1-2310 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2007.

18VAC47-20-260. Protection of perpetual care and preneed trust funds.

In the event that preneed or perpetual care funds are held in trust and the board or any of its agents have reason to believe that (i) the licensee or any agent of the licensee has diverted or misused any funds held in trust; (ii) the licensee is not able to adequately protect the interest of the person involved; (iii) the licensee's conduct or the operation of the cemetery company threatens the interests of the public; or (iv) the licensee has had its license suspended, revoked or surrended, the board may initiate legal proceedings in accordance with § 54.1-2313.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2007.

18VAC47-20-270. Standards of approval of training course.

All training courses shall be approved by the board. The training course shall be at least four hours and include appropriate testing procedures to demonstrate an understanding of the topics. The training program shall include, but is not limited, to the following topics:

1. Cemetery Board statute and regulations;

2. Perpetual care trust fund requirements;

3. Preneed trust fund requirements;

4. Preneed burial contracts;

5. Interment records;

6. General price list;

7. Itemized statement of goods and services provided;

8. Advertising;

9. Solicitation;

10. Funeral rule; and

11. Proper care, maintenance, administration, and embellishment of the cemetery.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 21, eff. August 1, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. September 1, 2016.

18VAC47-20-280. Special interment requirement.

A licensed cemetery company may establish a section in its cemetery devoted to the interment of pets or the interment of human remains and the pets of such deceased humans in accordance with § 54.1-2312.01 of the Code of Virginia. All other provisions of this chapter shall apply.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201, 54.1-2312.01, and 54.1-2313 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. September 1, 2016.

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