For Immediate Release - August 24, 2004

State Board Places Funeral Director's License on Probation

State Board Places Funeral Director's License on Probation

Lawrence P. Brandon of Leominster, Massachusetts has entered into a consent agreement with the Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers ("Board"), agreeing to a two-year probation on his license to practice as a funeral director.

Brandon acknowledged that on or about September 18, 2001, his assistant met with a decedent's family and conducted much of the funeral planning without Brandon's supervision. Brandon's assistant is alleged to have failed to provide a generalized or itemized price list to the family or a statement concerning pre-need account funds. Both Brandon and his assistant are alleged to have acted in an unprofessional manner towards a member of the decedent's family.

Brandon may continue to work during the probationary period and is eligible for full reinstatement of his license after May 25, 2006, provided that he does not violate any Board regulations.

The Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors licenses over 2,600 embalmers and funeral directors in the Commonwealth. In fiscal year 2004, Division of Professional Licensure investigators inspected 314 funeral service establishments, verifying 404 active licenses. The Board received 201 new complaints and resolved 179 complaints from this and previous fiscal years. The Board also held 72 formal hearings, resulting in the suspension of 69 licenses.

Consumers are encouraged to exercise their rights and visit the Division's web site at Select the "check a license" option to determine whether a professional is licensed and in good standing before doing business with him/her.

The Division of Professional Licensure is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. It is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the licensing process for 43 trades and professions regulated by 29 boards of registration, the updating of licenses for approximately 330,000 licensees and the maintenance of databases for licensing, enforcement and revenue collection. In fiscal year 2004, the Division of Professional Licensure imposed record levels of professional discipline including 829 disciplinary actions, resulting in over $128,000 in fines and $25,000 in refunds for consumers.