Reciprocity in issuance of licenses.
Any person holding a valid license as a funeral director or embalmer in another state having requirements substantially equal to those in this state for a funeral director's license may apply for a license to practice in this state by filing with the examining board a certified statement from an authorized official of that state that verifies the person's licensure in that state. An applicant for licensure under this section shall pass the jurisprudence examination under s. 445.04 (3) (c)
and shall satisfy the requirement under s. 445.045 (1) (b)
. Thereupon the examining board may, upon the payment of the required fee, issue a funeral director's license.
See also s. FD 1.12
, Wis. adm. code.
Display of licenses.
Funeral director's licenses and certificates of apprenticeship shall be displayed conspicuously in the place of business conducted by the licensee or where the licensee or apprentice is employed.
History: 1979 c. 175
; 1979 c. 221
; Stats. 1979 s. 445.09; 1983 a. 485
Apprenticeship, funeral directors. 445.095(1)(a)1.1.
A person desiring to become an apprentice as a funeral director and who satisfies all of the following shall apply on a form provided for the purpose and appear before the examining board or any duly appointed representative of the examining board:
The applicant holds a high school diploma or possesses equivalent education as defined by the examining board.
The applicant has completed a 16-hour certification class approved by the examining board or has satisfied the requirement under s. 445.045 (1) (e)
The application under subd. 1.
must be substantiated by the oath of the applicant.
When the examining board is satisfied that an applicant for apprenticeship satisfies the requirements for granting a certificate of apprenticeship, it shall grant the applicant a certificate of apprenticeship.
A certificate of apprenticeship issued under this section shall be renewable annually upon the payment on January 1 of each year of the renewal fee specified in s. 440.08 (2) (b)
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, the examining board may recognize only one funeral director apprenticeship at a funeral establishment in a given year for each funeral director that is employed full time at the funeral establishment.
The examining board may recognize up to 2 funeral director apprenticeships at any funeral establishment at which less than 3 funeral directors are employed full time in a given year.
The term of a registered apprentice shall be recognized only when the apprentice is employed in a funeral establishment under the personal supervision of a licensed funeral director. For purposes of this paragraph, supervision, when the apprentice is in the preparation room, requires that the apprentice is within the funeral director's line of sight.
All apprentices under this chapter shall be paid at least the minimum wage in effect in this state.
All apprentices shall be governed by subch. I of ch. 106
and apprenticeship rules of the department of workforce development.
All apprentices registered under this section shall report at least semiannually to the examining board upon forms provided by the department. Failure to submit the required reports shall constitute grounds for termination of the apprenticeship. The semiannual report shall show the number of hours served by the apprentice, the number of bodies the apprentice has assisted in embalming or otherwise prepared for burial or disposition during such period, and the number of funeral services at which the apprentice has assisted, and give any other information required by the examining board. The data contained in the report shall be certified to as correct by the licensed funeral director under whom the apprentice has served during that period.
When an apprentice enters the employment of a licensed funeral director, the apprentice shall immediately notify the examining board, giving the name and place of business of the funeral director whose service the apprentice has entered. If, at any time thereafter, the apprentice leaves the employment of the licensed funeral director whose service the apprentice has entered, the licensed funeral director shall give the apprentice an affidavit showing the length of time served as an apprentice with that employer, and the work done in detail, which affidavit shall be filed with the examining board and made a matter of record in that office. If the apprentice thereafter enters the employment of another licensed funeral director in this state, the applicant shall forthwith report such employment to the examining board. No person may serve or attempt to serve as an apprentice under a funeral director until the person has notified the examining board as required under this subsection.
Before an apprentice is eligible to receive a funeral director's license, the apprentice shall present, in connection with the other evidence required by this chapter, affidavits from the several licensed funeral directors under whom the apprentice has worked, showing that the apprentice has, during the term of his or her apprenticeship, assisted in embalming for burial or shipment at least 25 bodies, has assisted in preparing 25 dead human bodies for burial or transportation, other than by embalming, and has assisted in at least 25 funeral services during the apprenticeship.
See also chs. FD 1
, Wis. adm. code.
Term of apprenticeship. 445.10(1)(1)
The term of an apprenticeship for a funeral director shall begin on the date of registration and shall continue for a period of not more than 4 years from the time of first registration unless an extension, not to exceed one additional year, is granted by the examining board. After 4 years have elapsed or, if an extension is granted, after the expiration of the extension, the apprenticeship may not be continued unless the apprentice again completes an approved certification class described in s. 445.095 (1) (a)
. If the apprentice again completes such a certification class, an additional 4-year period, subject to extension, shall begin as provided in this subsection. An apprenticeship not continued as provided in this subsection shall terminate. The provisions of this subsection shall be suspended while a registered apprentice is an active member of the military of the United States.
In all applications of apprentices for licenses as funeral directors under this chapter, the eligibility of the applicant to take the examination shall be determined by the records filed with the examining board.
The examining board may limit, suspend or revoke a certificate of apprenticeship, or reprimand an apprentice, for violation of any provision of this chapter.
An apprentice who has allowed a certificate of apprenticeship to lapse or who has had an apprenticeship suspended or revoked, may within one year after such lapse or suspension or revocation make application for reregistration, but not more than 2 such reregistrations shall be allowed by the examining board. The examining board may, at its discretion, allow an apprentice credit under a registration for the time actually served under a previous registration; provided, that if the previous registration has been suspended or revoked for cause, not more than 75 percent of the time previously served shall be credited on the reregistration.
Funeral establishment permits. 445.105(1)(1)
No person may conduct, maintain, manage, or operate any funeral establishment unless the examining board has issued the person a permit for the funeral establishment and the permit is conspicuously displayed in the funeral establishment, except that a permit is not required for funeral services held in any building or part of a building that is erected under s. 157.11 (1)
, private residence, church, or lodge hall, if dead human bodies are not embalmed, cared for, or prepared for burial or transportation, in the building, residence, church, or lodge hall.
The examining board may not issue a permit to operate a funeral establishment unless all of the following are satisfied:
The building or structure in which the funeral establishment is located is affixed to real property.
A licensed funeral director is in charge of the funeral establishment and the funeral director is also in charge of no more than 2 other funeral establishments and at least one of the funeral establishments of which the funeral director is in charge has a preparation room.
If the funeral establishment is used for caring or preparing for burial or transportation of dead human bodies, the funeral establishment has a preparation room; the preparation room is equipped with a tile, cement, or composition floor; and the preparation room has necessary drainage and ventilation and contains necessary equipment, instruments, and supplies for the preparation and embalming of dead human bodies for burial, transportation, or other disposition. The examining board shall promulgate rules specifying the equipment, instruments, and supplies that are necessary for purposes of this paragraph.
The operator of the funeral establishment is not an operator of a medical care institution, as defined in s. 610.70 (1) (e)
, or a church, synagogue, or mosque, or any organization, whether or not organized under ch. 187
, that operates under a creed, as defined in s. 111.32 (3m)
The funeral director in charge of the funeral establishment under sub. (2m)
shall have full charge, control, and supervision of all funeral directing and embalming services at the funeral establishment, and that funeral director shall ensure that the funeral establishment operates in compliance with this chapter and rules promulgated by the examining board.
Applications for funeral establishment permits shall be made on forms provided by the department and filed with the department and shall be accompanied by the initial credential fee determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a)
. The renewal date for a funeral establishment permit is specified under s. 440.08 (2) (a)
, and the renewal fee for such permit is determined by the department under s. 440.03 (9) (a)
Violations of this chapter or any rules or regulations of the examining board committed by any person, or an officer, agent or employee with the knowledge or consent of any person operating such funeral establishments shall be considered sufficient cause for reprimand or for limitation, suspension or revocation of such funeral establishment permit.
No operator of a funeral establishment shall allow any licensed funeral director to operate out of such funeral establishment unless such licensed funeral director is the operator of or an employee of the operator of a funeral establishment which has been granted a permit by the examining board.
See also chs. FD 1
, Wis. adm. code.
Licensing requirements prohibit operators of funeral establishments from allowing free-lance funeral direction. The statute does not prohibit operation of 2 establishments from one location nor regular use of a church for funeral services. 60 Atty. Gen. 147.
Register; change of address.
The examining board shall keep a register of the names and business address of all persons to whom licenses or certificate of registration are issued under this chapter, the number and date of each license or certificate, and date of renewal. The register shall be available for purchase at cost.
Prohibited practices. 445.12(1)(1)
No funeral director may embalm a dead human body when he or she has information reasonably indicating crime in connection with the cause of death, until permission of the coroner or medical examiner has first been obtained.
No licensed funeral director may sign a certificate stating that he or she has embalmed or prepared a dead human body, when in fact, some other person embalmed or prepared said dead human body; provided, that this subsection shall not be construed as preventing a registered apprentice funeral director assisting the licensed funeral director from so certifying.
No licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment may, directly or indirectly, solicit a funeral service or the right to prepare a dead human body for burial or transportation either before or after death has occurred, or pay or cause to be paid any sum of money or other valuable consideration for the securing of the right to do such work. This subsection does not prohibit any of the following:
The solicitation of memberships or the sale of stock or memberships in any association organized under ch. 185
by any person who is not a licensed funeral director.
Except as provided in pars. (b)
, a licensed funeral director, agent of a licensed funeral director, operator of a funeral establishment or agent of an operator of a funeral establishment may not solicit the sale of a burial agreement under s. 445.125 (3m)
by doing any of the following:
Knowingly contacting a prospective purchaser of a burial agreement in a hospital, health care facility or similar facility or institution.
Knowingly contacting a relative of a person whose death is imminent or appears to be imminent.
Contacting a prospective purchaser of a burial agreement by door-to-door solicitation or in a manner that violates rules promulgated by the examining board under s. 445.125 (3m) (j) 2.
A licensed funeral director, agent of a licensed funeral director, operator of a funeral establishment or agent of an operator of a funeral establishment may solicit the sale of a burial agreement under s. 445.125 (3m)
by contacting any person if any of the following applies:
The contact is part of a mass-mailing, television, radio, print or other type of advertising campaign that is not directed solely toward persons in a hospital, health care facility or similar facility or institution or toward the relatives of a person whose death is imminent or appears to be imminent.
Paragraph (a) 3.
does not prohibit a licensed funeral director, agent of a licensed funeral director, operator of a funeral establishment or agent of an operator of a funeral establishment from using mass-marketing practices or in-person contacts or communications permitted under this section or by a rule promulgated by the examining board under s. 445.125 (3m) (j) 2.
No licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment may do any of the following:
Require a person who enters into a burial agreement under s. 445.125 (3m)
to purchase a life insurance policy used to fund the agreement from an insurance intermediary licensed under ch. 628
who is specified by the funeral director or operator of the funeral establishment.
No licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment may publish, or cause to be published, any false, misleading or fraudulent advertisement, or take undue advantage of patrons or commit any fraudulent act in the conduct of business, or do any other act not in accord with the rules established by the department of health services and the examining board and not in accord with proper business practice as applied to the business or profession of funeral directing and embalming.
Any licensed funeral director who knowingly permits any person not licensed as a funeral director to embalm or prepare for burial any body under his or her jurisdiction, or who permits any person not licensed as a funeral director to hold or conduct any funeral service for which he or she is responsible, or who permits any person not licensed as a funeral director to remove any dead human body from any home, hospital or institution for preparation, or who permits any person under his or her supervision or associated with him or her to violate the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of violating the provisions of this chapter and subject to the penalties provided therein. The foregoing provisions shall not be construed as to restrict the activities of a duly registered apprentice operating under the supervision of a licensed funeral director.
No licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment may operate a mortuary or funeral establishment that is located in a cemetery or that is financially, through an ownership or operation interest or otherwise, connected with a cemetery. No licensed funeral director or his or her employee may, directly or indirectly, receive or accept any commission, fee, remuneration or benefit of any kind from any cemetery, mausoleum or crematory or from any owner, employee or agent thereof in connection with the sale or transfer of any cemetery lot, outer burial container, burial privilege or cremation, nor act, directly or indirectly, as a broker or jobber of any cemetery property or interest therein.
No licensed funeral director or operator of a funeral establishment may sell or cause to be sold any shares of stocks, certificates of membership or any other form of certificate which provides for any burial benefit or any rebate at the time of death to the holders thereof. This subsection does not prohibit the sale of burial agreements to the extent permitted under, and that are in conformity with, s. 445.125 (3m)
See also chs. FD 2
and DHS 135
, Wis. adm. code.
If subsidiary corporations have prohibited financial connections, their corporate structure will not save them from the prohibitions of ss. 157.067 (2) and 445.12 (6). Those statutes are not unconstitutionally vague. Cemetery Service, Inc. v. Department of Regulation and Licensing, 221 Wis. 2d 817
, 586 N.W.2d 191
(Ct. App. 1998), 97-2115
Sub. (6) and s. 157.067 (2), which prohibit the joint ownership or operation of a cemetery and a funeral home, do not violate the equal protection or due process clauses of the Wisconsin and U.S. constitutions. Porter v. State, 2018 WI 79
, 382 Wis. 2d 697
, 913 N.W.2d 842
Whether parent and subsidiary corporations violate sub. (6), which prohibits an operator of a funeral establishment from being connected with a cemetery, depends upon the facts relating to legal separateness of the parent and subsidiary corporations. 78 Atty. Gen. 5
Except as provided in sub. (3m)
, whenever a person, referred to in this subsection as the depositor, makes an agreement with another person selling or offering for sale funeral or burial merchandise or services, referred to in this subsection as the beneficiary, for the purchase of a casket, outer burial container not preplaced into the burial excavation of a grave, combination casket-outer burial container or other receptacle not described in sub. (4) (a) 2.
for the burial or other disposition of human remains or for the furnishing of funeral or burial services, either of which is intended to be provided for the final disposition of the body of a person, referred to in this subsection as the potential decedent, wherein the use of such personal property or the furnishing of such services is not immediately required, all payments made under the agreement shall be and remain trust funds, including interest and dividends if any, until occurrence of the death of the potential decedent, unless the funds are sooner released upon demand to the depositor, after written notice to the beneficiary.
Such agreements may be made irrevocable as to the first $3,000 of the funds paid under the agreement by each depositor.
Any interest or dividends accruing to a trust fund under subd. 2.
may be made irrevocable.
Any depositor who made an irrevocable agreement under subd. 2.
may designate a different beneficiary at any time prior to death, after written notice to the current beneficiary.
All trust funds under par. (a)
shall be deposited with a bank or trust company within the state whose deposits are insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation, deposited in a savings and loan association or savings bank within the state whose deposits are insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation, or invested in a credit union within the state whose savings are insured by the national board, as defined in s. 186.01 (3m)
, and shall be held in a separate account in the name of the depositor, in trust for the beneficiary until the trust fund is released under either of the conditions provided in par. (a) 1.
In the event of the death of the depositor before the death of the potential decedent, title to funds under par. (a)
shall vest in the potential decedent, and the funds shall be used for the personal property and services to be furnished under the contract for the funeral of the potential decedent.
The depositor shall be furnished with a copy of the receipts, certificates or other appropriate documentary evidence showing that the funds under par. (a)
have been deposited or invested in accordance with this subsection. The depositor or the beneficiary shall furnish the bank, trust company, savings bank, savings and loan association or credit union with a copy of the contract.