Burial and Cremation Laws in New Jersey

by ECL Writer

In the heart of America’s East Coast lies New Jersey, a state steeped in rich history and cultural diversity. Amidst its bustling cities and serene landscapes, the solemn matter of burial and cremation laws stands as a testament to the intricate balance between tradition and regulation.

In this article, we delve into the labyrinth of statutes and regulations governing burial and cremation practices in the Garden State. From the quiet suburbs to the urban sprawl, New Jersey’s laws shape the final journey of its departed residents, touching upon religious customs, environmental concerns, and legal frameworks.

Exploring the intersection of religious beliefs and state mandates, we navigate through the complexities of honouring diverse faiths while adhering to legal requirements. Whether it’s the Jewish tradition of swift burial or the Hindu practice of cremation, New Jersey’s laws aim to accommodate the diverse needs of its populace while maintaining the integrity of the funeral process.

Furthermore, we uncover the environmental considerations driving legislative decisions, from green burials to eco-friendly cremation methods. As society’s consciousness shifts towards sustainability, New Jersey’s lawmakers strive to strike a balance between honouring the departed and preserving the planet.

Join eastcoastlaws.com on a journey through the labyrinth of burial and cremation laws in New Jersey, where tradition meets regulation in the final farewell to loved ones.

Does New Jersey allow home burials?

In New Jersey, home burials are not permitted, and individuals cannot be buried on their private property. Burials are only allowed on land designated for cemetery purposes. To utilize private property for burial, one must seek approval from the New Jersey Cemetery Board by applying for a Certificate of Authority to operate as a “cemetery company.”

This process ensures adherence to regulations and standards set forth by the state to maintain the dignity and legality of burial practices. While the desire for a personal resting place on private property may be understandable, New Jersey’s regulations prioritize proper oversight and respect for the deceased. Thus, individuals must follow the prescribed procedures to establish burial grounds outside of traditional cemeteries.

How do I get a death certificate in New Jersey?

Filing the death certificate in New Jersey involves two key steps: the completion of the medical portion by the deceased person’s physician, registered nurse, or medical examiner within 24 hours of death pronouncement, and the submission of burial particulars by the funeral director to the local registrar through the state’s electronic death registration system.

For those needing copies of a death certificate, it’s advisable to request them at the time of death from the entity handling the filing, such as the funeral home. Executors of the estate should aim for at least 10 certified copies to fulfil various administrative needs.

Should additional copies be required later, individuals can access the New Jersey Department of Health’s website to order them through various methods: online, in person, by phone, or via a mail-in order form.

When ordering certified copies, valid identification, such as a government-issued photo ID, is necessary. The initial certified copy costs $25, with subsequent copies ordered simultaneously priced at $2 each. Additional fees may apply for online or rush orders.

Who can order a death certificate?

In New Jersey, certified copies of a death certificate are restricted to specific individuals or agencies outlined by the state’s regulations. According to the New Jersey Department of Health’s Proof of Relationship and N.J. Admin. Code § 8:2A-2.1, certified copies may only be issued to:

  • The deceased person’s parent.
  • The deceased person’s legal guardian or legal representative.
  • The deceased person’s spouse or domestic partner.
  • The deceased person’s adult child, grandchild, or sibling.
  • A state or federal agency for official purposes.
  • A person or agency with a court order.

It’s important to adhere to these guidelines to ensure proper authorization and compliance with New Jersey state law when requesting certified copies of death certificates.

Is embalming required?

Blood is removed from the corpse during the embalming process and replaced with fluids that slow down the body’s breakdown. Even though it is still frequently done, embalming is rarely required because refrigeration does the same thing.

under New Jersey, embalming is only necessary under specific situations. A body must be either embalmed or refrigerated—note that you have an option—if it won’t be buried or cremated within 48 hours. N.J. Administrative Code Section 8:9-1.1 If a body is going to be transported by a common carrier (train or aeroplane), it needs to be embalmed and sealed in a leak-proof coffin if it won’t arrive at its destination in a day. N.J. Administrative Code Section 8:9-1.7

Is a casket necessary for burial or cremation?

The single biggest expense after a death is frequently a casket. A coffin typically costs more than $2,000, and for more ornate designs and pricey materials, the cost might reach $10,000 or $20,000. Some people might rather not have a casket at all, for whatever reason, including expense.

Interment. A casket is not necessary by law for burial. It is advisable to verify with the cemetery since they might have regulations mandating a specific kind of container.

Burning to ashes. A coffin is not necessary by law for cremation. Conversely, a funeral home or crematory is required by federal law to let you know that you have the option to select another container and to provide you with one. A substitute container could be constructed from cardboard, fiberboard, pressed wood, or raw wood. Furthermore, implying that a coffin is required by municipal or state legislation for cremation or that one is necessary for the process is deemed by New Jersey to be fraudulent consumer activity by funeral directors or crematories. Refer to N.J. Administrative Code Section 13:36-9.10.

Do I have to buy a casket from the funeral home?

No, according to federal law, funeral houses must accept caskets that customers have bought from other vendors, such as Internet merchants. If you’d like, you can even construct your coffin.

Where can bodies be buried in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, interment on private land is an option, however, the majority of burials take place at established cemeteries. If any regulations need to be followed, find out from the town or county clerk as well as the local health department before holding a home burial or founding a family cemetery.

Any burial that could endanger the public’s health could be outlawed by the state. (See § 26:6-5 of the New Jersey Statutes.) To make sure that future generations can easily locate the burial site on private property, you should create a map of the area and include it with the property deed when burying a body there. Before burying the body, a burial permit is also required. (See § 26:6-5.1 of the New Jersey Statutes.)

Where can we store or scatter ashes after cremation?

In New Jersey, there are no state laws governing the storage or scattering of ashes. However, common sense should prevail when choosing scattering locations to respect others’ sensibilities. Here are some options for scattering ashes:

  • Established Scattering Gardens: Many cemeteries offer designated areas for scattering ashes. Inquire with the cemetery for details.
  • Private Land: You may scatter ashes on your property, but obtain permission from the landowner for others’ properties.
  • Public Land: Check local regulations before scattering ashes in public areas like parks. Generally, discretion and respect for the environment are key.
  • Federal Land: While permission is officially required, quiet ceremonies away from trails and waterways usually encounter no issues. Refer to specific guidelines for national parks.
  • At Sea: The Clean Water Act mandates scattering ashes at least three nautical miles from land. Notify the EPA within 30 days of scattering. Inland water burial may require a state permit.
  • By Air: While there are no state laws, federal aviation laws prohibit dropping objects that could endanger people or property. Ensure ashes are removed from containers before scattering.

For more details, including contact information for the EPA representative in New Jersey, refer to the EPA’s Burial at Sea page.

Who has the right to ashes after cremation in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, regulations regarding the handling and dispersal of cremated remains are relatively flexible compared to some other states. Essentially, there are no specific state laws dictating where one may keep or scatter ashes. This gives individuals a wide range of choices regarding the final resting place of their loved ones’ remains.

Cremated remains, or ashes, can be stored in various locations including crypts, niches, graves, or containers kept at home. Additionally, if the decision is made to scatter the ashes, there are numerous options available. However, it’s advisable to exercise common sense and discretion when scattering ashes, avoiding locations where they might be conspicuous or cause discomfort to others.

Overall, individuals in New Jersey have considerable freedom in determining how they wish to handle the ashes of their deceased loved ones, with the main consideration being respect for the deceased and the sensibilities of those around them.

How much is the burial in NJ?

Service TypeAverage CostPrice Range
Direct Cremation$2,505$2,000 – $2,534
Immediate Burial$3,757$2,992 – $4,357
Cremation w/ Memorial$8,055$3,872 – $9,162
Full Burial Service$10,550$6,367 – $11,657

How is cremation done in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, cremation is conducted individually for each deceased person. The process begins with placing the body in a cremation chamber, which is heated to temperatures ranging from 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. After the cremation process is complete, there is a cooling period before the remains are carefully collected. Following this, the cremated remains undergo mechanical pulverization to achieve a fine, ash-like consistency.

It’s important to note that in New Jersey, cremation can only take place after a minimum of 24 hours have passed since the time of death as officially recorded on the death certificate. This ensures proper procedures and respects the legal requirements surrounding cremation practices in the state

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