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Funeral Law Definitions from Lesson 1.1 Third set


a dead human body intended solely for scientific study and dissection.


any fundamental or important law or edict.

Constructive custody (possession)

where a party has a right to acquire actual custody/possession of the dead body although another party has actual physical possession. Having the authority to control disposition although another party has physical possession.

Corpse (dead human body)

the body of a dead human being, deprived of life, but not yet entirely disintegrated.


a public officer whose duty it is to investigate cause of death when the question of accident, suicide, or homicide may be evident or where there was no doctor in attendance (see also medical examiner and justice of the peace).


a person, properly licensed, who disinfects, preserves, or restores a dead human body.

Funeral service law (mortuary law/mortuary jurisprudence)

that branch of law which relates to matters concerned with the disposal of the dead and regulation of funeral directors/embalmers and funeral establishments.

Gross negligent act

the intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences as affecting the life or property of another.


one who has been invited on the property by the landowner; persons coming to a funeral home for the purpose of attending funerals, viewing remains, or engaging the funeral director's services.


one who intentionally and without consent or privilege enters another's property.

Volunteer driver

those drivers not under the control of the funeral director.

Zoning ordinance

a law passed by a municipality by virtue of the police power which regulates and prescribes the kind of building, residences, or businesses that shall be built and used in different parts of the municipality.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

a federal statute prohibiting discrimination against the disabled in employment, public transportation, telecommunications services, and public accommodations and services operated by private entities.

Apprentice (intern/resident trainee)

a person engaged in learning the practice of funeral directing and/or embalming under instruction, direction or personal supervision of a duly licensed funeral director and/or embalmer.

Contract carrier

Provides transportation for compensation only to those with whom it desires to do business. (e.g., livery service)


the placing of a remains in a crypt in a mausoleum.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

a governmental agency with environmental protection regulatory and enforcement authority.


A set or moral principles or values governing individuals or groups; conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct.

Final disposition

the conclusive performance of services with respect to the dead human body.

Graveside Service

Ceremony commemorating the deceased at place of final disposition (also see Committal Service FD Glossary)


Refers to a person's blood relationships

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