What is Immediate Burial?

It is a package the FTC requires all funeral homes to offer. You will see it listed on every General Price List with:

  • A price if you provide the casket/container
  • A price with an alternative container and a description (only required if they offer an alternative container)
  • A price (same as first) plus the cost of casket purchased from the funeral home

How to Shop for Immediate Burial

Included in the Immediate Burial Package: Transporting the body from the place of death, to the funeral home and the cemetery, obtaining the disposition permit, arranging for the burial at a time convenient to the funeral director, and filing the death certificate.

Cash advance items (not included in package price):

  • State charge for death certificates
  • Cemetery charges for plot or mausoleum and opening and closing fees
  • State charge for disposition permit
  • Newspaper charges for obituaries

Funeral homes may charge extra for:

  • Mileage if outside regular service area
  • Pick up from home (vs. hospital or nursing home) or if a second person is needed
  • Casket or Alternative Container

Additional costs for optional items:

  • Funeral home charge for vault (if required by cemetery)
  • Monument dealer charge for headstone/marker
  • Fancier casket, embalming, viewing, funeral or memorial service in funeral home, etc.

You can arrange and pay over the phone so you don’t need to visit the funeral home. This means the location of the funeral home should not be a factor in making your choice. Using one that is out of town or out of state can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars! There is a huge range of prices for Immediate Burial between funeral homes in New Jersey —
from $795 to $6,500 — for the same exact thing. It pays to shop around and because federal law requires funeral directors to give prices over the phone, it’s easy!

Find reasonably priced funeral homes on funeralnj.org. Call several funeral homes and ask their price for Immediate Burial. Ask what kind of container it includes and if there are any other charges you should know about.

Instead of a viewing in a funeral home, you can keep the body home for up to 48 hours to say goodbye. Cooling is required after that, so if you want more time but no embalming, choose a funeral home that offers refrigeration (or you can use dry ice at home). If you want to have a home viewing and/or home funeral, talk to us about how to prepare.

Instead of a service in a funeral home, have a memorial service whenever and wherever you want. Many religious institutions, restaurants, clubs, etc. will charge little to nothing, and few will match the funeral home charge for a memorial service. With no body to deal with, there is no need for a funeral director.

Graveside Service – When you request something not included in the package, the funeral home is allowed to charge you their Basic Services Fee, which can be significant. While a graveside service is not part of the Immediate Burial package, many funeral homes will add this on if you would like to attend the burial and keep it simple.

Casket – You can buy a casket from a funeral home, make your own, or buy one at a steep discount online. You can use the funeral home’s Alternative Container; usually a simple fiberboard or cardboard container, which is much less expensive than a casket. Funeral providers are required by law to accept a suitable homemade casket or one from an outside vendor and cannot charge you a fee or require you to be on site when the casket is delivered.

Embalming – Is not required, but the body must be buried, cremated or refrigerated 48 hours after death. Most funeral homes include a few days of refrigeration as part of their “sheltering” and will only charge for longer than usual stays.

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