H.B. No. 2078


Bill Description

Governor Bush signed HB 2078 on June 18, 1997. HB 2078 becomes effective September 1, 1997.

HB 2078 adds two words -- "including cremation" -- to Section 711.002(g) of the Health and Safety Code, making that section read as follows:

(g) A person may provide written directions for the disposition, including cremation, of the person's remains in a will, a prepaid funeral contract, or a written instrument signed and acknowledged by such person. The directions may be modified or revoked only by a subsequent writing signed and acknowledged by such person. The person otherwise entitled to control the disposition of a decedent's remains under this section shall faithfully carry out the directions of the decedent to the extent that the decedent's estate or the person controlling the disposition are financially able to do so.

Here's what the House Public Health Committee Report says about HB 2078:

The current Health and Safety Code is ambiguous as to whether a person can provide written directions for the disposition of his or her body, including cremation, prior to death. It is clear that a person can designate another individual to make decisions concerning the disposition of the body, including cremation, but those instructions may be misinterpreted.

Funeral homes are uncertain as to whether or not they may follow a deceased person's instructions for the disposition of his or her remains, and are left to rely on survivors to determine how to care for the body.


HB 2078 will allow individuals to provide written directions for disposition of their body, which may include cremation.

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Copyright © 1997 by Glenn M. Karisch. This page was last revised on June 23, 1997.