Article 1 General Provisions 27-17A-1 – 27-17A-4
Article 2 Certificate of Authority 27-17A-10 – 27-17A-25
Article 3 Funeral Merchandise and Services Trust Fund 27-17A-30 – 27-17A-34
Article 4 Cemetery Merchandise and Services Trust Fund 27-17A-40 – 27-17A-57

Terms Used In Alabama Code > Title 27 > Chapter 17A - Preneed Funeral and Cemetery Act

  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • ARRANGEMENT CONFERENCE FEE: The charge to the purchaser in conjunction with the arrangement conference. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • AT NEED: At the time of death, or immediately following death. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • AUTHORIZING AGENT: One who is lawfully authorized to control the final disposition of human remains. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • burial: The placement of human remains in a grave space or lawn crypt. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • CASH ADVANCE: Any item of service or merchandise described to a purchaser as a "cash advance" "accommodation" "cash disbursement" or similar term. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • CEMETERY AUTHORITY: Any person who owns or controls a cemetery or conducts cemetery business. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • CEMETERY SERVICES: Services provided by a cemetery authority for interment, entombment, inurnment, and installation of cemetery merchandise. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • city: The City of Selma, Alabama. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02
  • CIVIL PENALTY: The monetary amount assessed by the city pursuant to this part for an adjudication of civil liability for a traffic signal violation, including municipal court costs associated with the infraction. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02
  • CIVIL VIOLATION: There is created a noncriminal category of state law called a civil violation created and existing for the sole purpose of carrying out the terms of this part. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02
  • columbarium: A structure or room or space in a building or structure used or intended to be used for the inurnment of cremated remains. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • commissioner: The Alabama Commissioner of Insurance. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • CREMATED REMAINS CONTAINER: A receptacle in which cremated remains are placed. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • CREMATORY AUTHORITY: Any person who owns or controls a crematory. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE: A legal document containing vital statistics pertaining to the life and death of the deceased. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Donor: The person who makes a gift.
  • embalmer: One authorized by law to engage in embalming. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • encasement: The placement of human remains in a rigid container, including, but not limited to, a casket or urn. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • entombment: The act of placing human remains in a mausoleum crypt. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • FINAL DISPOSITION: The lawful disposal of human remains whether by interment, entombment, burial at sea, cremation, or other method. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • funeral: The rites held commemorating the deceased with human remains present. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • FUNERAL DIRECTOR: One authorized by law to engage in funeral directing. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • FUNERAL MERCHANDISE: Any personal property offered for sale, contracted for sale, or sold for use in connection with funeral directing. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • FUNERAL SERVICE: Services provided by a funeral establishment in connection with funeral directing, interment of human remains, and installation of memorials. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • GRAVE SPACE: A space of ground in a cemetery that is used or intended to be used for in-ground burial. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • HUMAN REMAINS: The body of a decedent and includes the body in any stage of decomposition and cremated remains. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • interment: The final disposition of human remains by burial, entombment, or inurnment. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • INTERMENT RIGHT: The right to inter human remains in a particular interment space in the cemetery. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • inurnment: The act of placing cremated remains in a receptacle including, but not limited to, an urn and depositing it in a niche. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Irrevocable trust: A trust arrangement that cannot be revoked, rescinded, or repealed by the grantor.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • mausoleum: A chamber or structure used or intended to be used for entombment. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • MAUSOLEUM CRYPT: A chamber of a mausoleum of sufficient size for entombment of human remains. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • MEMORIAL RETAILER: Any person offering or selling memorials at retail to the public. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • memorialization: Any permanent system designed to mark or record the names and other data pertaining to a decedent. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • National Bank: A bank that is subject to the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. A national bank can be recognized because it must have "national" or "national association" in its name. Source: OCC
  • niche: A space usually within a columbarium used or intended to be used for inurnment of cremated remains. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • oath: includes affirmation. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • owner: The owner of a motor vehicle as shown on the motor vehicle registration records of the Alabama Department of Revenue or the analogous department or agency of another state or country. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • personal property: includes money, goods, chattels, things in action and evidence of debt, deeds and conveyances. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • PHOTOGRAPHIC TRAFFIC SIGNAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM: A camera system which is designed and installed to work in conjunction with an electrically operated traffic-control device using vehicle sensors synchronized to automatically record, either by conventional film or digital imaging, sequenced photographs or full motion video of the rear of a motor vehicle while proceeding through a signalized intersection. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
  • predeveloped: Designated areas or buildings within a cemetery that have been mapped and planned for future construction but are not yet completed. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • PREDEVELOPED INTERMENT SPACE: An interment space that is planned for future construction but is not yet completed. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • prefund: The term applied to completing the financial details of a prearrangement, which include provisions for funding or prepayment. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • preneed: Any time prior to death. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • PRENEED CONTRACT: A written contract to purchase funeral merchandise, funeral services, cemetery merchandise, or cemetery services from the seller on a preneed basis. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • President pro tempore: A constitutionally recognized officer of the Senate who presides over the chamber in the absence of the Vice President. The President Pro Tempore (or, "president for a time") is elected by the Senate and is, by custom, the Senator of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service.
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • purchaser: The person who purchases a preneed contract either on his or her behalf or on behalf of a third party beneficiary. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • scattering: The lawful dispersion of cremated remains. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • SUCCESSOR-IN-INTEREST: A person who lawfully follows another in ownership or control of property or rights. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • TRAFFIC SIGNAL VIOLATION: Any violation of Section 32-5A-31, 32-5A-32, or 32-5A-35, or of any combination thereof, wherein a vehicle proceeds into a signalized intersection at a time while the traffic-control signal for that vehicle's lane of travel is emitting a steady red signal. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02
  • TRAFFIC-CONTROL SIGNAL: Any device, whether manually, electrically, or mechanically operated, by which traffic is alternately directed to stop and permitted to proceed as defined in Section 32-1-1. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02
  • TRAINED TECHNICIAN: A sworn law enforcement officer employed by the City of Selma, who alternatively:

    a. See Alabama Code 45-24A-32.02

  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trust account: A general term that covers all types of accounts in a trust department, such as estates, guardianships, and agencies. Source: OCC
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • 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. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • urn: A receptacle for the encasement of cremated remains. See Alabama Code 27-17A-2
  • Veto: The procedure established under the Constitution by which the President/Governor refuses to approve a bill or joint resolution and thus prevents its enactment into law. A regular veto occurs when the President/Governor returns the legislation to the house in which it originated. The President/Governor usually returns a vetoed bill with a message indicating his reasons for rejecting the measure. In Congress, the veto can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House.