Cremation Costs in New Jersey 2024

As the cost of traditional funerals continues to rise, many families in New Jersey are turning to cremation as a more affordable and flexible alternative.  Several different cremation options are available to families, and deciding what type of cremation service is required is important. This guide will answer many of your questions about arranging a cremation service. 

Best direct cremation price by city in New Jersey

NEWARK$995 (973) 221-3351
JERSEY CITY$995 (201) 293-7900
PATERSON$995 (973) 221-3351
LAKEWOOD$1,425 (609) 269-4488
ELIZABETH$995 (908) 235-3795
EDISON$995 (732) 201-5846
WOODBRIDGE$995 (732) 201-5846
TOMS RIVER$1,425 (609) 269-4488
TRENTON$1,425 (609) 269-4488

DFS Memorials is a network of local, affordable cremation service providers. All locations offer a ‘best value’ direct cremation service.

Click on this link for DFS Memorials New Jersey to locate other cities and find cremation prices and contacts.

How much does it cost for a cremation in New Jersey?

This is the primary question that many families turn to the Internet to answer.  And in many cases, is an important decision when families are governed by a budget in making funeral arrangements.

Cremation has become the preferred option in recent years and now accounts for almost 60% of all dispositions.  It offers a much more affordable funeral alternative and also offers more flexibility.

The average cost of a full cremation service with a ceremony is $6,219.  Whereas a simple direct cremation can be conducted for just $995.

Direct cremation is the option chosen by families who want a ‘no fuss’ disposition.  The funeral home or crematory provides no services or ceremonies.  The deceased is collected and cremated, and the cremated remains are returned to the family or next of kin.

The DFS Memorials network of affordable cremation service providers reports that 80% of cremations conducted are indeed direct cremations.

When a simple cremation can take care of funeral needs for less than $1,000, it is understandable that direct cremation is becoming so popular.

What is the cheapest cremation option?

Cremation prices by city in New Jersey

The cheapest cremation option is a direct cremation service.  This is a minimal service from a funeral home, enabling them to offer it at a lower cost.  A direct cremation package generally includes everything to care for the deceased, complete all the required authorizations, and obtain the death certificate and cremation permit.

The cremation is then completed, and the cremation ashes are made available to the family or mailed by USPS Priority mail.  All arrangements can be made without the next of kin needing to visit a funeral home, and over 40% of funeral homes offer online arrangements on their websites today.

Are there any additional charges to a basic direct cremation package?

You should know that county fees (considered third-party payments) may be added to the service fee. This would be the charge for additional death certificates and the fee for a cremation permit.

Death certificates are charged at $25.00 for the first copy and $2.00 for each additional copy ordered at the same time.

If the deceased weighed over 250 pounds or had a medical implant such as a pacemaker, there would likely be extra charges.  A barometric (oversized) cremation usually has an additional charge due to specific requirements to conduct the cremation of an overweight person.

A pacemaker must be removed prior to cremation to ensure it does not combust when exposed to heat.

Will the state of New Jersey pay for a cremation? What assistance is available to help me pay for a cremation?

Most economic cremation in New Jersey

Each county in New Jersey has an obligation to cremate a deceased person if the deceased or surviving family is indigent, vulnerable, or low-income and unable to pay for a funeral service.  County budgets have become more restrained in recent years, and there is a rigid eligibility process.

To arrange a Public Assistance Funeral, you need to contact a local funeral home and inform them that the deceased may be eligible.  The funeral director will liaise with the County Board of Social Services to determine the case.

As indicated below, there are fixed assistance amounts for a funeral and a limit on the supplement a family can contribute.  Visit this link for a full listing of the County Boards of Social Services in New Jersey.

2 Years - Adult$3,056 $714 $1,570
1 Week - 2 Years$2,494 $583 $1,178
Stillborn - 6 Days$1,933 $452 $785

You could also consider a whole-body donation in New Jersey, as a free cremation is offered to those who donate their body to science.

What laws govern conducting a cremation in New Jersey?

Cremation Laws & Process New Jersey

Cremation is such a final disposition of human remains that strict regulations govern cremation authorization.  The legal next of kin must sign a Cremation Authorization Form to consent to a cremation disposition.  If there may be more than one legal next of kin (for example, if there are several siblings), ALL must consent before a cremation can proceed.

This can sometimes cause issues with being able to conduct a cremation. If siblings disagree or are estranged.  If you are considering a cremation for yourself, it can be wise to at least plan ahead in terms of signing off on the authorization documentation. 

You do not necessarily have to set up a pre-paid cremation plan but can ensure your wishes are met by lodging the signed paperwork with a funeral home, family, or attorney.

Cost for death certificate New Jersey

The death certificate must be filed with the health department within 72 hours after the death. Your funeral director will file this for you and ask you how many copies you require.

You must have at least one copy of the death certificate. But, you will need original copies to close down the deceased’s estate and for probate, so you may wish to order a few additional copies.

Once the death certificate has been filed and the cremation authorizations are in order, the coroner can issue the Permit to Cremate.  The funeral home will then schedule the cremation to proceed.

How long does a cremation take in New Jersey?

There is a mandatory 24-hour waiting period after the death before a cremation can proceed.  Although, it can take 48-72 hours to process all the required paperwork.  It is fair to say that it is usually 5-7 days for a cremation to be performed. (Longer if there are any issues with consent or issuing a death certificate)

The deceased will be sheltered in refrigerated storage during this time. A direct cremation service package generally includes refrigeration for up to 10-14 days.  There may be an additional daily fee for refrigeration if the funeral home has to store the deceased for longer.

Can I get a free cremation in New Jersey?

Free cremation in New Jersey with a whole body donation

Sadly, more families are finding it harder to budget for funeral costs.  Especially if a family death was unexpected and the deceased had no funeral provision.  As we outlined above, the DFCS does have a responsibility to help with cremation costs for indigent residents, vulnerable, and welfare recipients.

Another way to obtain a free cremation is to donate your body to science.  If you opt for a whole-body anatomical donation, the medical institute will cover the cremation expenses when the donation is complete. The cremated remains can then be returned to the family.  This process usually takes at least 3-4 weeks but could be longer.

Where can I legally scatter cremated remains?

Laws for ash scattering in New Jersey

The scattering of cremated remains is still somewhat an unregulated practice.  Cemeteries may offer scattering gardens but will charge you for the service.  If you wish to scatter your loved ones’ ashes somewhere scenic, public, and special, you must follow certain dispersal guidelines and check any public land permit rules.

Visit our Complete Guide to Scattering Cremated Remains for tips on scattering, where you can scatter safely – rules & regulations, and ideas about creative ash scattering memorial tributes.

For further reading about Cremation Services, we have an Ultimate Guide to Cremation and a section with Resources for Arranging a Cremation.

Written by

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 15 years.