Legislation and Death Certificate Registration Survey
We want to hear from you!

Message from Lee Mack Pierce, AGEG President

As we have reported, AGEG Board of Directors will be participating in a meeting on October 4, 2023, with legislators, fellow funeral service associations, mortuary school representatives, and industry professionals. We value your opinion and have requested everyone participate in our brief survey. If you have not taken the survey, I urge you take a few moments and do so today. This survey will close at midnight, Saturday, September 30.  If you cannot access the survey, email We can send the questions to you and will include your answers in our results. 

It’s important that we hear from you!    

During this meeting participants will discuss

  • Senate Bill 209 which relates to funeral directors and establishments, embalmers, and crematories, so as to provide that licensed funeral directors do not have to be licensed embalmers; to repeal conflicting laws. The current version may be viewed by visiting HERE
  • Death Certificate Registration


Professional Licensing Board System Maintenance

The Licensing Division of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has announced a system maintenance is scheduled for Wednesday September 27th through Monday October 2nd, 2023.

Funeral Directors & Embalmers and Funeral Establishments professions are among the groups which will be affected.  License applications, renewals, payment of fees or fines will not be available during this time. Licensing activities will resume in the new GOALS licensing portal starting on October 3rd, 2023.

For additional information on GOALS and the license professions affected during this window CLICK HERE.

Launching Soon: GOALS
(Georgia Online Application Licensing System)

In the coming months the Georgia Secretary of State Professional Licensing Boards will launch GOALS (Georgia Online Application Licensing System) in support of the Georgia Secretary of State modernization initiative. This new licensing management system is designed to expedite the issuance of professional licenses across the state of Georgia and provide an improved online experience. 

For Frequently Asked Questions CLICK HERE.

AGEG is aware licensees are receiving emails about GOALS. In our follow-up with the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service, we have confirmed there has been no mention of any change to the renewal schedule. These are the dates that those Boards are moving over to the new licensing system, which will also impact applicants and any licensees trying to submit applications or make changes to their license after that date. We will continue to monitor details and advise if there are any changes. 

Federal Trade Commission
- Funeral Rule Comment Period Open until October 10, 2023 -

As we previously reported, the Federal Trade Commission held a public workshop on September 7, 2023, seeking input on proposed changes to the Funeral Rule. You may view the video by visiting HERE

The workshop explored many issues including whether and how funeral providers should be required to display or distribute their price information online or through electronic means. The workshop covered topics such as online or electronic disclosures of price information; new forms of disposition of human remains; and the general price list mandated by the rule, and more.

The comment period remains open until October 10, 2023, and we encourage you to submit your comments.  Instructions for filing comments are available in a Notice that has been published in the Federal Register.  As stated in the workshop, this is an open regulatory review period.  The FTC staff will gather the comments, digest those comments, and make recommendations to the FTC Commission.  The FTC Commission will decide the next steps. 

Financial Scams Targeting Families

As previously reported AGEG has been notified of a scam targeting the families served by multiple funeral homes across the state. This scam is not only impacting families in Georgia but nationwide. 

Recent reports include unauthorized individuals contacting families:

  • Stating they were from the funeral home or an insurance company and a payment was required for various aspects in serving the family. These unauthorized individuals have requested payment by credit card or cash app.
  • Stating the family is due a refund. The unauthorized individuals have requested bank or credit card information to issue the refund.
  • Asking the family to participate in a survey about the recent funeral. The person is awarded a gift card for participating in the survey. The unauthorized individuals needs a credit card in order to give them a credit.

We once again strongly encourage you to inform the families you serve of your funeral home's policies/billing practices and remind them to not give any information to individuals contacting them for payments or refunds, but to instead contact your funeral home directly when asked for payment or banking information.  If a family you serve has been impacted or has information about any contact of this nature, they should contact their local authorities.

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Justin McLellan was born and raised in Appling County-Baxley, Georgia. He began working in funeral service at the age of twelve, going after school on Saturdays to cut grass and wash cars. This sparked an interest in the industry and led him to be more involved. As a young teenager and throughout his high school years, Justin helped with various service-related tasks. After graduating from Appling County High School in 1999, he began his apprenticeship. He attended and graduated from Brewton-Parker College and achieved his funeral service education from Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro. Justin has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 2003 and a licensed life insurance agent since 2008.

Justin and his wife Jessica were married in 2002 and they have one daughter, Kerstyn. Justin also serves as Pastor of Riverside Baptist Church and serves on the board of directors of the Appling County Food Bank, the Baxley-Appling County Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Appling County. Justin is a member of the Baxley Kiwanis Club, NFDA, GFDA, and the Academy of Graduate Embalmers of Georgia.

Justin joined AGEG upon receiving his license. “I have always enjoyed the connections and friendships gained within the AGEG membership. Furthermore, the information learned at the Clinic each year and the ongoing updates are extremely valuable. I also appreciate AGEG keeping its membership up to date on things going on in and around the state as well as legislation and rule changes.”

Justin believes God places upon each of us a calling to serve Him and our fellowman. “Funeral service is very much a part of that calling for me. Once I recognized the fulfilling joy of serving others in this profession, it was obvious to me that this is a place where God called me to serve.” Justin has spent the majority of his career in funeral service within Appling County. He returned to Swain Funeral Home in 2013 after serving six years as the manager of Wainright-Parlor Funeral Home in Hazlehurst.

When asked what changes do you see coming in the future of funeral service, Justin replied “As with all walks of life these days, the funeral industry is definitely changing. With the effects of the economy and the ever-increasing trends toward less traditional funerals, there is no way to see what truly awaits us. However, there is one constant that I pray remains in all of us, that is the desire to see our industry adapt to the unavoidable changes while maintaining determination to remain a service to our beloved communities.”

Georgia State Office of Vital Records


ATTENTION: For registration links, visit HERE

Vital Records Process & Procedures Overview
October 11, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
The State Office of Vital Records will offer a VR Overview of Processes and Procedures Webinar for local county registrars, funeral homes, birthing facilities, medical examiners, coroners, and their staff. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant. Note: This training is only open to the Georgia DPH stakeholders named above and is closed to the public.

State Office of Vital Records Office Hours (Q&A)
October 19, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Please join us for our upcoming Office Hours session. The goal in mind when creating this series was to give local and county stakeholders the opportunity to meet regularly, discuss issues and provide updates in a virtual townhall-like setting. We will have guest panelists at every meeting to answer questions and address concerns. Please register via the link below. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant.

GAVERS Death Registration Process Webinar (Part 1 Demographic)
October 25, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
The State Office of Vital Records will offer a GAVERS Death Registration Webinar for local county registrars, funeral homes, medical examiners, coroners, and their staff. Please register via the link below. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant. Note: This training is only open to the Georgia DPH stakeholders named above and is closed to the general public.

GAVERS Death Registration Process Webinar (Part 2 Medical)
October 26, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
The State Office of Vital Records will offer a GAVERS Death Registration Webinar for local county registrars, funeral homes, medical examiners, coroners, and their staff. Please register via the link below. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant. Note: This training is only open to the Georgia DPH stakeholders named above and is closed to the general public.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Public Assistance Still Available

FEMA has announced that it will continue to provide funeral assistance until September 30, 2025, to those who paid for the funeral of a loved one who died due to COVID-19, even if the death occurred after May 11, 2023 assuming they meet all other eligibility requirements. 

AGEG encourages you to share the information with your families who may be eligible for reimbursement.  More information may be found by visiting our FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance page, HERE

Continuing Education Requirement Changes

As previously reported, the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service has changed its Continuing Education requirements. The hours required biennially have not changed, but the Board now requires that at least five (5) hours of the total ten (10) hours required be obtained in-person or via live webinar that is instructor led with student interaction, where student participation is monitored and verified

Make Your Plans to Join Us!
Details will be announced soon.  

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AGEG Reminders


Notices of funeral professionals and their loved ones passing should be sent to the AGEG office HERE or by email. Please include the relation for loved ones of funeral service professionals.

Notices will be shared with our members via email, posted on our public Facebook page, private Facebook group, included in our annual Memorial Service, and posted HERE


AGEG is the only association in Georgia that focuses on Embalmers! Our members are a great pool of information for embalmers across the state and the southeast. We offer specific training for your profession and opportunities to earn your Continuing Education Hours for your licensing requirements. AGEG members receive discounted event pricing and AGEG News directly in the email inbox. For our 2023 Membership Form & FAQ visit HERE


If you are in need of assistance, if you are aware of a need in your area, or if you are able to provide assistance, contact the AGEG office. Remember to include the best way we can reach you and the following information:

  • If you are in need of assistance, share as much information as possible about your immediate needs.
  • If you are able to provide assistance, share if you are able share your time and/or supplies with those in need.

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