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No one should have to experience negligent behavior while
planning the funeral of a loved one. We specialize in holding funeral homes and cemeteries responsible for their mistakes and collect nothing upfront. The call is free; the consult is free; call The Malley Law Firm today to discuss your funeral home or cemetery negligence case.
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Malley Law The Funeral Home & Cemetery Attorney
The aftermath of a loved one’s death is a traumatic time for you and your family. In between medical discussions, family notifications, and handling the estate, is the question of the funeral. Your loved one may or may not have let it be known their preferred burial method. However, regardless of their preference, planning a funeral is a large undertaking that takes an emotional toll on you and your family. This time period can be made even more traumatic if you experience any accidents or misunderstandings with the funeral home you are using.
FUNERAL HOME NEGLIGENCE
Funeral home negligence can include the following:
- Funeral misidentification
- Funeral theft
- Funeral home & cemetery neglect
- Improper grave care
- Grave disturbance
Any one of these could have a devastating impact on the family of the deceased.
Funeral misidentification, unfortunately, happens more often than many of us think. The impact of discovering your loved one was switched with another person at the funeral home can prove devastating and will often have a long-lasting impact on you and your family. A funeral is a time to say goodbye to your loved one, and should not be spent negotiating with the funeral home. Many family members travel long distances to make the funeral, and the discovery of funeral misidentification could lead to delayed travel and a new date for a ceremony. All of these are things that the family of the deceased should not have to worry about during their period of mourning.
Some of the most devastating forms of funeral negligence occur from funeral home neglect leading to funeral theft. The improper staffing of security at a funeral home could have detrimental results on many gravesites in the cemetery. While grave robbery may sound to be a thing of the past, it occurs on a daily basis throughout the country. The funeral home is responsible for appropriately staffing the cemetery with security guards and other personnel to ward off any instances of theft, and the failure to do so could result in liability for vandalism or theft.
Funeral homes are in charge of maintaining appropriate graveside care. The failure to upkeep the cemetery and gravesites could lead to overgrown gravesites and eventual funeral theft due to the lack of supervision. It is important to bring any improper graveside care to the funeral homes’ attention as soon as possible.
The worst possible instance of funeral home negligence occurs when a loved one is wrongfully cremated. Many families have discussed their wishes for their body after death, and the family tries to honor these wishes as best as they can. When the funeral home has a mix-up and improperly cremates a deceased whose wishes were to be buried, it seems like there is no way to make up this mistake. The family has paid for a plot of land where they can visit their loved one on a daily basis if needed. The wrongful cremation has robbed them of this special place in their hearts, and the funeral home should be held responsible for this mistake.
MALLEY LAW FIRM | FUNERAL HOME NEGLIGENCE ATTORNEY
If you or your family have experienced negligent behavior while planning the funeral of a loved one, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Tony Malley has years of experience in handling funeral negligence cases and knows how devastating a mistake can be during this already traumatic time. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.
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No. We pursue money damages for breach of contract, misrepresentations, and errors on the part of the funeral home, crematory, or cemetery. We are paid a legal fee contingent upon recovery of compensation for you. Coordinating or handling a burial or service is an administrative service that likely would be compensated by an hourly fee for the time involved.
So often we receive calls because of confusion over who did or should be making the decisions with the funeral home . The Health and Safety Code has a section 711.002 called “Disposition of Remains; Duty to Inter” that gives priority of who has the right to control the disposition of the decedent’s remains. The priority is follows
(1) the person designated in a written instrument signed by the decedent;
(2) the decedent’s surviving spouse;
(3) any one of the decedent’s surviving adult children;
(4) either one of the decedent’s surviving parents;
(5) any one of the decedent’s surviving adult siblings;
(6) any one or more of the duly qualified executors or administrators of the decedent’s estate; or
(7) any adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.
The Texas Funeral Service Commission website allows you verify the funeral director or funeral home is licensed with a public search using location, name, or license number. https://vo.licensing.
Who decides if a corpse/deceased can be removed from a grave is governed by the Texas Health and Safety Code. A body can be removed from a grave with 1) the written consent of the cemetery organization operating the cemetery and 2) the written consent of the current plot owner and 3) in order of priority,
(a) the decedent’s surviving spouse;
(b) the decedent’s surviving adult children;
(c) the decedent’s surviving parents;
(d) the decedent’s adult siblings; or
(e) the adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.
If consent cannot be obtained, the remains may be removed by court order of a county court of the county where the cemetery is located.
Removal of remains must be supervised by a cemetery keeper, a licensed funeral director, medical examiner, a coroner, or professional archeologist.
You may have a civil lawsuit and a valid complaint. The Texas Funeral Service Commission regulates funeral directors, embalmers, funeral homes, and crematories. You have a right to file a complaint if you believe a person or business violated laws or rules. The complaint form can be found on the Texas funeral commission website. You will be required to provide the following information
Who is filing the complaint
Who or which business is the complaint against?
An explanation of how you believe the funeral director or business violated a law or rule. You do not need to state the specific law laws or rules broken. You can explain in a “story” style.
Supporting documents should be provided if you have them. This may include a contract for services, emails, texts or other information obtained.
Whether you discussed your complaint with the person or the business and any response.
Whether you have filed a complaint with any other Texas agency, like the Banking Commission
Your attorney and any case number for a court proceeding.
Names of witnesses.
You must mail the completed form to the Texas Funeral Commission at 333 Guadalupe Street, Suite 2-110.
Complaints must be filed within two (2) years of the events giving rise to the complaint.
If you file a complaint, your case will be assigned a number and an investigator. The complaint will be reviewed to determine if the Funeral Commission has authority over the matter and next if any violation of law or rule occurred. The process will continue if any violation is found. The Funeral Commission website has a helpful chart.