Hi there, Thanks for writing, and thanks for your kind words. Let me answer your questions one by one. “Is Texas one of the states where the mortuary “owns” a deceased body (funeral director must sign the death certificate)?” REPLY: No. You have the right to do your own funeral in Texas if you wish. And if so, how can I ensure that a direct cremation happens immediately to prevent storage fees? Must I request this in writing/get written guarantee prior to removal of my loved one to prevent later fee gouging? REPLY: It’s always a good idea to shop around first so you know the prices and practices of a funeral home well before you need them. Our local groups in TX can help. There’s a link at the top of the page to “Find a Local FCA. TX law requires that a body be refrigerated, or embalmed, or in a sealed casket 24 hours after the death. Because a cremation often can’t happen immediately – insisting on it won’t change that reality – you should find a funeral home that charges no or very low refrigeration fees. “Does the hospital call the funeral home of my choice or theirs (is this information detailed on the release a hospital gives me to sign to remove the body)?” REPLY: No. The hospital has no right to choose a business for you. You pick the funeral home, not them. What law(s) protect(s) my choices at this juncture given that I won’t likely be in as collected a state as I can be now? REPLY: There are many. The most important is called the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule. The FTC puts out a great pamphlet explaining it here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro26.shtm The key to making sure you’re not taken advantage of is advanced planning. As you gather information now, put it into a folder for later reference, and most importantly, share it with your family. Instruct them on their rights, or everything you’re learning now wont’ help anyone when death comes. You’ll find lots of good pamphlets on our site. Visit “Frequently Asked Questions” on the left-hand menu. Cheers, Josh Slocum Exec. Director

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