Member Page

Member Page

- Attention GFDA Members - 

As this information is changing rapidly, we encourage you to bookmark this page, visit it often,
and visit the links below to stay informed on 
the latest guidance and information. 

It is important that you add GFDA, Inc. ( and Staff ( to your email address book and check your email frequently, including spam/junk folder, to ensure you receive GFDA Alerts.   

If you have not renewed your GFDA Membership, visit HERE.  
To update your contact information, contact 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

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GFDA Webinar - Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19 and Funeral Service

Webinar - Monday, March 30, 2020

Discussion about COVID-19 and Funeral Service

Posted by Georgia Funeral Directors Association on Monday, March 30, 2020

Our discussion included

  • Governor Kemp's Executive Order 
  • Procedures and Changes for Funeral Homes
  • CDC Guidelines and COVID-19 Facts
  • DeKalb County Protocols and Procedures for Releasing of Human Remains
  • Mortuary Workers Declaration as Critical Infrastructure Workers
  • Governor Kemp's Task Force
  • Protocols for Medical Examiners - Autopsy and COVID-19

GFDA received questions prior to and during the webinar, these were answered by our panelists and Dr. Kraft replied to many directly in the comments portion of the video.  

  • Visit the GFDA Facebook page (click the link or search for GeorgiaFuneralDirectorsAssociation from your Facebook page) to view questions and answers posted directly onto the page.
  • Additional questions may be emailed to 

Thank You to our Webinar Panelists

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Dr. Colleen Kraft

Medical Director of Microbiology, Emory Medical Laboratories

Member of 
Governor Kemp's 
COVID-19 Task Force

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Patrick L. Bailey

Director of the Medical
Examiner's Office
DeKalb County, GA

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Gerald T. Gowitt, M.D.

Chief Medical Examiner
DeKalb County Medical 
Examiner’s Office 
Decatur, GA

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Bill Hightower

GFDA President & NFDA Policy Board Member

Hightower Family
 Funeral Homes
Bremen, GA

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Cy Hume, CFSP


A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home & Crematory
Decatur, GA

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Guidance and information may be found below 
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We made the change to drop down windows to make the guidance and information easier to review. 
As the situation is rapidly changing, we recommend you review the information below often and share it with your staff.
While we do our best to post guidance and information in real time, you should visit the drop down windows and links.  

CDC's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is available for urgent consultation at 770-488-7100

  • State and local health departments who have identified a Persons Under Investigation (PUI) should immediately notify CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at
    770-488-7100 to report a deceased PUI and determine whether testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at CDC is indicated. The EOC will assist
    local / state health departments to collect, store, and ship specimens appropriately to CDC, including during after hours or on weekends/holidays.
  • CDC is available for urgent consultation in the event that an autopsy on a COVID-19 PUI is being considered. CDC can be reached for urgent consultation by calling
    the EOC at 770-488-7100. 

Visit the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) drop down for information regarding PPE needs.

3-29-20 UPDATE - President Trump has announced that the federal
social-distancing and mitigation guidelines will be extended to April 30th. 

The NEW Federal social distancing and mitigation guidelines are scheduled to be released Tuesday night.

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Legislative, Licensing and Regulatory Alerts

Reminder from the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service

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Your License Renewal Deadline is Quickly Approaching

The deadline for renewal for all license types is March 31, 2020. Renew online now HERE.

Have you confirmed your license renewal? What is the current status of your license? 

Use the online "Licensure Search" feature to confirm that your renewal has been completed. Be sure to check the current status and the license expiration date. If the information does not reflect that your license is "Active" with an expiration date of 3/31/2020 then your renewal has not been completed.

Are you trying to reach their office? 

They have a new phone number. Effective January 15th, their phone number has changed to 844-753-7825. 

Reminder from the Georgia Corporations Division,
Secretary of State Office

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(ATLANTA) - Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is extending the time for Georgia corporations to file their annual registration to provide relief for Peach State businesses in light of the rapid spread of COVID-19. Georgia businesses are working hard every day to survive through the economic turmoil caused by the global pandemic. Understanding the hardship these businesses face, Raffensperger has extended the annual registration period to May 1.

“The economic turmoil caused by the spread of Coronavirus poses a great challenge to the Georgia economy,” said Raffensperger. “Extending the annual registration period for Georgia businesses provides regulatory relief that will ease the burden for our hardworking entrepreneurs and business owners during these tough times.”

The 2020 annual registration period will now extend an extra month and will end on May 1, 2020. Georgia businesses will be able to file their annual registration until May 1 without incurring any penalties or late filing fees.

Raffensperger made this decision in light of the hardship put on Georgia businesses and entrepreneurs due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Georgia businesses are working short-staffed or with limited access to business resources. Even those who are fully staffed are working tirelessly to keep their businesses afloat in the midst of a turbulent economy.

Georgia business that do file their annual registrations can now register for one, two, or three years. As a legislator, Raffensperger introduced legislation to provide multi-year options for business registration and made it a priority to implement these options as Secretary of State. Georgia businesses who opt to register for two or three years will be able to enjoy a lighter regulatory burden in future years.

Click here to file your 2020 Annual Registration.


In response to Governor Kemp’s recommendation that state employees work remotely, the Corporations Division has implemented telework options for its staff. Effective March 17, the Corporations Division lobby will be closed to visitors and walk-in customers. Mailed filings are still being accepted by our mail and intake division. For quicker processing, filers are encouraged to utilize online services ( to submit various filings supported by our online system. For additional information, you may contact the call center at 404-656-2817 or email

Changes from the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health has made rule changes governing Vital Records and the following:

If you have any questions about these forms you should contact the State Office of Vital Records.

Notice From The Federal Trade Commission Regarding Complying With The Funeral Rule 

The FTC Southeast Regional Office has requested our assistance in notifying GFDA members of this information. Review it carefully and be aware they are making visits to funeral homes across the state. 

Please review the letter and copy of the Federal Trade Commission's guide "Complying with the Funeral Rule". The information is provided to assist funeral providers in complying with the Rule.  Please share the information with all funeral directors and staff in your funeral home. Failure to comply with the Rule may result in civil penalties, which have recently increased at the direction of Congress to $40,654 per violation effective January 24, 2017.  

If you have any questions, please contact the Federal Trade Commission's Southeast Regional Office at

Letter to Funeral Service Providers

Click on the graphic to download the file.

Complying the Funeral Rule

Click on the graphic to download the file.

Programs Designed to Help Your Business Suceed

Click the company logos below for more information about the specific services, programs, and prices they offer to our Members. We encourage you to contact your local representative to meet your business needs. 

GFDA Marketing Alliance Partners

Click the company logos for more information about their services and programs. 

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GFDA Choice Colleagues

Click the company logos for more information about their services and programs.

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GFDA News & Reminders

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Membership Renewals were due in January - Have you renewed? 

We are updating our online locators and want to include you! If you haven't sent your renewal, take a moment and visit Join GFDA for your renewal form.  Simply complete the form in full and return it with your payment to 

Remember GFDA Members: 

  • Are included in our online locators
  • Receive GFDA Alerts via email
  • Receive Member discounts from our vendor partners
  • Receive discounted GFDA event pricing
  • Have access to the NFDA Music License and Music Webcasting Licenses
  • Visit Join GFDA for more membership benefits

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Obituary Notices

GFDA sends funeral service related Obituary Notices via a GFDA Alerts.  We encourage you to add to your address book to ensure receipt of these notices.

We ask that  funeral-service-related death notices be sent to to ensure timely notification to our members, 

If it is outside of normal business hours, please call the GFDA office after emailing the obituary. 

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Save the Dates for 2020

Visit Upcoming Events for more information!

Our Annual Convention room block is open and we encourage you to make your reservations early!

GFDA is continuing to monitor information and guidance regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). At this time, our 2020 Annual Convention will proceed as planned. The health and safety of our attendees are our top priority. We will continue to assess the situation as time for our Convention grows closer and update you as new information is available. 


Our Facebook page is public and we post about our events, association news, obituary notices, regulatory reminders, and more. We encourage you to like our page.  Remember, you can tag GFDA by using @GeorgiaFuneralDirectorsAssociation.

GROUPAHEAD Is Closing - GFDA App has been discontinued

The company that hosts the GFDA app is ceasing business; therefore, our app closed Monday, December 23, 2019. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to you. GFDA is currently exploring other opportunities in this area. 

GFDA Legislative Reports

Charlie Watts, GFDA Lobbyist, closely monitors all legislative matters and provides continual legislative updates to the GFDA Executive Committee, Legislative Committee, and our Membership. Our Legislative Committee Members are Chairman Ted Bearden, Richard Stanley, Barry Henderson, GFDA President Bill Hightower, and GFDA President-elect Rob Roberson.

Our legislative updates are posted weekly in this section and sent via GFDA Alert. 

GFDA Legislative Report - Report # 1 - January 27, 2020

Click on the graphic on the left to download the file.

GFDA Legislative Report - Report # 2 - February 9, 2020

Click on the graphic on the left to download the file.

GFDA Legislative Report - Report # 3 - February 26, 2020

Click on the graphic on the left to download the file.

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Charlie Watts served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 14 years. During his term of service, Charlie had an unparalleled rise to a position of leadership in the House of Representatives, serving as Chairman of the Banks and Banking Committee, and as a member of the rules committee and the Appropriations Committee. Charlie has earned the trust and respect of his fellow legislators, on both sides of the aisle, and of state department heads.

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We Want to Hear From You!

The GFDA Executive Committee and Legislative Committee want to hear your thoughts. Please take a moment to visit the links below to view the bills. We encourage you to send your thoughts to   

SB 296

A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 18 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to funeral directors and establishments, embalmers, and crematories, so as to remove certain crematory requirements as to retorts and to provide for an alternative cremation process; to provide for and change a definition; to provide for conforming amendments; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.


HB 715 

A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 48 of the O.C.G.A., relating to general provisions regarding specific, business, and occupation taxes, so as to eliminate gross receipts as a criterion for classifying businesses and practitioners for purposes of calculating the occupation tax levied by local governments; to remove inapplicable references; to require that the proceeds of local government regulatory fees be used to pay for regulatory activity and not general operations; to remove provisions authorizing calculation of regulatory fees for new construction, renovation, and other construction projects; to remove provisions authorizing alternative occupation tax rates for practitioners of certain professions and occupations; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.


Congratulations to Bryant Hightower

Bryant Hightower is a GFDA Past President and was installed as NFDA's 2019-2020 President.  We congratulate him on his accomplishments and look forward to his serving in this role with NFDA. 

2020 NFDA International Convention & Expo

October 18-21 | New Orleans, Louisiana

More Information Coming Soon!

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More NFDA News may be found HERE

Georgia Board of Funeral Service

The Georgia Board of Funeral Service administers the Funeral Service Law for the purpose of better protection of life and health, preventing the spread of contagious, communicable, and infectious diseases, and regulating the practice of embalming and funeral directing and the care and disposition of dead human bodies.

The Board consists of 7 members appointed by the Governor, six of whom are licensed and practicing funeral directors and embalmers, with one member serving as a consumer representative who has no connection with the funeral service industry. The Board is authorized to prescribe a standard of proficiency as to the qualifications and fitness of embalmers and funeral directors, to revoke or suspend licenses for any violation of this law, to adopt rules and regulations and to set standards of sanitation to be observed in the embalming or cremation of dead human bodies.

Board meetings are monthly (view Meeting Schedule for dates) and are open to the public. Persons wishing to bring matters for Board consideration must submit a written request to the Professional Licensing Board office in Macon.

Click HERE to visit the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service website.  

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Georgia Department of Public Health

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Georgia Department of Public Health - Office of Vital Records - Vital Connections Newsletter may be found 

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