§ 54.1-2808.2

Identification of unclaimed cremains of veterans and eligible dependents

A. For the purposes of this section:”Eligible dependent” means a veteran’s spouse, a veteran’s unmarried child younger than 21 years of age, or veteran’s unmarried adult child who before the age of 21 became permanently incapable of self-support because of physical or mental disability.”Veterans service organization” means an association or other entity organized for the benefit of veterans that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or chartered by Congress and any employee or representative of such association or entity.

B. If the contracting agent has not claimed the cremains or instructed the funeral director as to final disposition within 90 days from the date of cremation, the funeral director shall provide names and any other identifying information of the unclaimed cremains to the Department of Veterans Services or a veterans service organization in order for the Department or organization to determine if the unclaimed cremains are those of a veteran or eligible dependent. The names and any personal identifying information submitted by a funeral director to the Department of Veterans Services or veterans service organization in compliance with this section shall be exempt from disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

C. The Department of Veterans Services or veterans service organization shall notify the funeral director within 45 days of receipt of the information required by subsection B if the cremains are those of a veteran or eligible dependent and, if so, whether such veteran or eligible dependent is eligible for burial in a veterans cemetery in order to permit the transfer of the unclaimed cremains to a veterans cemetery. If the cremains are those of an eligible veteran or eligible dependent, a funeral director may transfer the cremains to the Department of Veterans Services or a veterans service organization for the purpose of disposition of such cremains.

D. No disposal of the unclaimed cremains of an eligible veteran or eligible dependent shall be made until the funeral director has notified the Department of Veterans Services or a veterans service organization and has received a determination as to whether the cremains are those of an eligible veteran or eligible dependent. Absent bad faith or malicious intent, no funeral director who transfers the cremains of a veteran or eligible dependent to the Department of Veterans Services or a veterans service organization for purposes of disposition or a veterans service organization that receives cremains for the purposes of disposition as provided in this section shall be liable for civil negligence.

History

2012, cc. 24, 120; 2015, c. 138.

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