Knowing how to plan a funeral in New Jersey can be pretty overwhelming when you actually find yourself needing funeral services. No one enjoys the process of making funeral arrangements for ailing or newly deceased friends and family members. Just the natural stress alone makes knowing what to do and where to start very difficult.
To help you in the planning process, we have outlined the entire process, step-by-step below.
In New Jersey, you are required to work with a licensed funeral home to make funeral arrangements. Residents are not permitted to work directly with the cemetery when it comes to making arrangements for the deceased.
You can however, purchase grave plots directly from the cemetery at any time. Many times when families know that a member of their family will require a grave plot, they contact the cemetery to purchase entire plots of land for the family.
When it comes to choosing between cremation and burials, that part is done through the funeral home. You can find funeral homes local to you by searching online for the term, “funeral home + (your city name)” or by contacting your local religious organization that fits your denominational needs.
Another way to find a licensed funeral director / funeral home is by contacting the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association. There you can search for funeral directors closest to you.
It is always recommended that you contact at least 2-3 funeral homes to compare prices, arrangement packages and other related services.
Once you have identified which funeral homes you would like to visit and speak with, you will need to start thinking about the following:
Do you have a cemetery that you would like to use for the funeral service?
Many times families may already have deceased relatives at a certain cemetery that they want to continue to use for the rest of the family. Sometimes for various reasons families decide to start a new familial burial plot at an agreed upon cemetery location.
If you know where you would like your loved one’s burial or cremation to take place, let your chosen funeral director know up front. If not, the funeral home will make suggestions based on their relationships with local cemeteries.
Casket, Grave Stone or Cremation Urn
The next thing your funeral home is going to want to know is do you wish to have a burial or a cremation for your loved one. If there is a will involved, the person with power of attorney should be involved in the process of choosing the service used.
Caskets and Cremation Urns are purchased through the funeral home. While grave stones, markers and mausoleums are purchased through vault / monument dealers. Grave stones are installed well after burial services are complete as the ground around the new grave site must settle first. If you choose to purchase a grave stone or monument of some sort, be sure to ask your vendor for a timeline as to when the stone will be installed. Monument dealers work closely with many cemeteries and are aware of each cemetery’s policies regarding vaults and installations.
Cremations on the other hand have become more popular over the years due to the lower cost and popular changes in spiritual / religious beliefs. Whether you choose a traditional burial or cremation services, funerals services can be held for both burial and cremation requests.
Type of Funeral Service
If your loved one was a member of the military or a fraternal order, there may be special arrangements that need to made to honor them in their chosen way. Persons who were dedicated to a specific religious or non-denominational way of life may have different requirements. Funeral homes unless otherwise advertised are capable of providing the appropriate arrangements necessary to the deceased.
Some funeral homes and cemeteries only work with specific denominations so be sure to ask questions related to your specific needs and concerns.
Specific Wish List
The next thing your funeral home director is going to want to know is who are the pallbearers, speakers and other people of importance going to be for the funeral service.
The will want to get their contact information so they can speak with them regarding specifics of the service.
Additionally, they will want to know what type of music you would like to use (perhaps a pianist), and where you would like to make flower and candle arrangements through.
If you don’t have specific vendors in mind, again the funeral home will gladly make those arrangements for you as well.
Regarding travel, funeral homes provide limo services and can also make arrangements for police escorts if necessary.
Often times flowers arrangements are given to family members, charities and other religious organizations. If you have specific requests regarding how flowers are disposed after the funeral service, be sure to let the funeral home know so there isn’t any miscommunication.
Another charitable gesture that is often done is a memorial collection and donation to be given in the deceased name to the church or organization they belonged to.
If this is something you would like to have done for your loved one, let the funeral director know upfront so that they can help you with this as well.
Knowing How to Plan a Funeral in New Jersey Helps With Stress
There are not too many times in life that are more stressful than when you have to make funeral arrangements for a deceased loved one. Knowing how to plan a funeral in New Jersey and what to expect helps alleviate some of the stress involved.
If you are interested in seeing and possibly purchasing a burial plot or a cremation niche for your family members, you can contact Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, NJ to make an appointment. We are a non-denominational cemetery which means people of all faiths are welcome.
We are always happy to show you around our historical cemetery and answer any questions you may have regarding cemetery or funeral services.