trend is sweeping across our nation as more and more families choose cremation
as a lower cost alternative to traditional burial. In New Jersey
the cremation rate has climbed steadily over the last decade, and now represents
around 4 out of every 10 funerals. This rate is expected to climb
significantly over the next 5 years.
New Jersey has some strange
funeral laws. It is one of only 7 states where a funeral director
MUST be employed and a funeral home cannot own a cemetery, and crematories
must be sited on cemetery property. These antiquated laws can result
in funeral prices being above average in New Jersey.
Why choose cremation?
Cost is reportedly the biggest
factor causing the shift to cremation. According to the New Jersey
Funeral Directors Association a family typically spent between $7,000
to $14,000 on a traditional funeral service in 2011. Yet the costs
spent on a cremation service were nearer to $4,000. This clearly
represents a huge saving on funeral expenses. Our changing attitudes
towards religious beliefs and a more transient population have also been
cited as reasons for why cremation is becoming so popular.
Arranging a cremation followed
by a memorial service can work out cheaper. The cremation is conducted
immediately and the family can conduct a memorial service, with the cremation
urn present, at a later date. This can eliminate the need for a casket
for the funeral and save money on the actual service. A memorial
service can be held at an alternative venue than a funeral home, and even
led by family, a celebrant or clergy.
Full service cremation services
in New Jersey
If you are considering a cremation,
then you need to decide upon what kind of cremation service you require.
You can arrange a cremation that is very similar to a traditional funeral,
only that the deceased is transferred to the crematory after the service,
as opposed to the cemetery for burial. Once the cremated remains
are returned, some families may opt to conduct a committal service as the
cremated remains are interred. Although significant costs may be
saved on cemetery expenses, a cremation with full service can still work
out at several thousand dollars. A full service cremation in New
Jersey is likely to cost between $4,000 - $10,000.
Cremation with a memorial in
Direct cremation services in
A direct cremation is the least
expensive cremation option. A direct cremation is otherwise named
an immediate cremation, a basic cremation or a simple cremation.
It represents the ‘simplest’ method of arranging a disposition. The
deceased is collected, cremated using a basic cremation container (usually
a reinforced cardboard box) and then the ashes are returned directly to
Direct cremations are gaining
popularity as they can be purchased at the lowest cost available for a
funeral, and they can offer the family a dignified means to conduct a send-off,
without incurring huge expense. Many families today arrange a direct
cremation with a funeral home in New Jersey, and then arrange their own
memorial afterwards. It gives some ‘control’ of the death ritual
back to the family.
The New Jersey Funeral
Directors Association claims that a direct cremation costs around $3,000
in New Jersey. Some funeral homes can indeed charge this much, however,
direct cremations are intended to be a budget cremation option and you
will find you can purchase a direct cremation for under $1,000.
Typically I have seen low
cost direct cremation prices ranging between $995 and $1,595, so it is
important to shop around and ensure you are comparing like for like services.
Discount cremation packages
in New Jersey
As many NJ funeral homes have
to use the services of a crematory located at a cemetery, this can mean
that the crematory fee is not always included in a funeral home’s cremation
package. This makes the cremation fee a ‘cash advance’ item that
the funeral director pays to the crematory. As the cremation fee
can range between $150 and $350, it is important to clarify if this fee
is included in any cremation package that a funeral home quotes.
There are discount direct
cremation packages in New Jersey that are extremely good value for money,
and delivered by compassionate funeral professionals.
I have detailed below a cremation
price comparison for basic direct cremation packages offered by “affordable”
cremation service providers in New Jersey.
Prices obtained July 2013
||Direct Cremation Package
||$995 - including crematory
|Affordable & Dignified
Cremation Services of New Jersey, LLC
||$1,150 + crematory fee
|Simple Cremations of NJ
– by Bradley & Son Funeral Homes
||$1,324 - including crematory
|Cremation Society of NJ
||$1,395 + crematory fee
As you can see from these
four direct cremation packages, prices can be quoted both including and
excluding the crematory fee, but you can arrange a simple cremation for
Unfortunately many families
are caught unprepared when a death occurs, believe it is undignified to
inquire about costs, and can put their trust totally in the first funeral
home they speak to. The more you can do some research and inform
yourself of what options are available, you are likely to save on the cost
of a funeral.
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
Homes in New Jersey
Published: August 12th 2013