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How much does a funeral cost in New Jersey?

Higher than average costs and a lack of state assistance make planning ahead vital.

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Fact checked

The average prices you typically see when looking for a traditional funeral only cover burials, and don’t include several of the other costs — casket, transportation, viewing and embalming, among others. According to the most recent research from finder.com, the national average for a burial site is $6,723.92. However, in New Jersey that shoots up over $400. And there are other costs involved.

Average cost of a funeral in New Jersey

On average, a burial in New Jersey costs $7,137. That brings the average cost of a traditional funeral in New Jersey to $11,371.

Average funeral costs in New Jersey:

Expense Cost
Burial $7,137
Casket (wood) $2,984
Transportation (hearse) $325
Private viewing $200
Embalming $725
Casket, transportation, private viewing, embalming and urn costs are based on national averages found in a study conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association in 2017 which showed an average price increase in funerals of around 6.4% in a span of 5 years. Remember that these are average numbers and may vary depending on which funeral home you work with.

Average cost of cremation in New Jersey

An average cremation with services in New Jersey runs about $3,979. An urn averages an extra $275. While $4,254 is still a heavy hit, it’s less than half the cost of the average traditional funeral.

Keep in mind that’s the average with services. Direct cremation is an alternative, and usually a much less expensive one. Typically with a bit of searching you can find direct cremation options for under $1,000.

Expense Cost
Cremation $3,979
Urn $275

Other funeral costs

Please note that the average funeral costs listed above do not include the following items:

  • Headstones and grave markers. Since these are made-to-order items, grave markers can range anywhere between $199 for simple headstones to over $10,000 for monuments and statues depending on their style and complexity.
  • Funeral plots. While it seems odd that this is not included in the cost of the funeral, you’ll also need to account for the price of the burial plot. This can range anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 or more depending on what city it’s located in and if its a private or public cemetery.
  • Flowers. If you want to have memorial floral wreaths or casket decorations at the funeral, the cost will vary based on the type of flowers you want.

How to pay for a funeral in New Jersey

Sorting out your funding options can make paying for a funeral easier during an extremely difficult time for your loved ones.

When looking into how to pay for your own funeral consider:

  • Life insurance. If you have a life insurance policy that covers funeral costs, you could use that to cover funeral costs. Your premiums are affected by a number of factors, including your health, hobbies, profession and family history — among other things. While publicly available data doesn’t show a strong link between the state and the rates people pay, experts suggest that living in natural disaster-prone areas may have an effect.
  • Burial insurance. If you’re just looking to cover your final expenses with insurance, you may want to look into burial insurance.
  • POD account. A payable on death (POD) account is meant to hold funds that are only to be withdrawn after you pass away. Using a POD is a way to keep the money separate and secure with minimal financial risk.
  • Pre-need funeral insurance. It’s possible to prepay a funeral home for its services, but it may not be the best choice for a number of reasons. Two key points are that it’s possible you won’t be able to switch funeral homes if your family decides on another resting ground, and that if the business folds you can be out your money.

To cover the cost of your loved one’s ceremony, consider:

  • Out of pocket. This route can be especially hard on personal finances, and should be considered carefully among other options. If you absolutely have to use your own cash or card, you may want to also reach out to family members for support.
  • The deceased’s estate. A 2017 Go Banking Rates survey found that over half of New Jersey residents have more than $1,000 in savings. That alone can be enough to put a dent in the costs, especially for an option like direct cremation.
  • Funeral loans. While taking out a funeral loan is an option, it’s one that should likely be left for last. Personal loans, funeral included, often require good to excellent credit, and can leave you spending much more in the long run on interest.

Does New Jersey have funeral assistance programs?

The state of New Jersey doesn’t provide any funeral assistance. It falls on the counties to give a proper burial to those who are under a certain income level when they pass away, but whether service is provided varies by county.

While state and county government assistance is limited, there are other options available.

  • Veterans Affairs. The VA office may be able to assist surviving members of a veteran’s family with securing a free cemetery marker and plot, along with discounts for costs related to the funeral and burial.
  • Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. Current and former members of the Marines or Navy and their eligible family members may be able to receive financial aid from the NMCRS.
  • Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey. An emergency financial assistance program is offered by this organization. Financial hardship caused by funeral expenses may qualify you for assistance.
  • Funeral Consumers Alliance. You can find two chapters of the FCA in New Jersey. This national organization seeks to help further education around funerals and burials, and can help its members find discounts for related services.

Compare burial insurance policies in New Jersey

Name Product Guaranteed Acceptance Issue Ages Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage
Transamerica burial insurance
No
45-85
$1,000
$50,000
AIG burial insurance
Yes
50 - 85
$5,000
$25,000
Mutual of Omaha burial insurance
Yes
45-85
$2,000
$25,000
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Bottom line

New Jersey has higher-than-average costs when it comes to burials, but there are several ways you can cover the costs. While it lacks state assistance, you can plan ahead or look into national and local organizations to help pay for a funeral.

You can also compare life insurance providers and find out if a policy is the best option to help your family.

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