The family-led home funeral offers many benefits; more time and freedom for family to say goodbye, an opportunity for mourners to channel their grief and find a sense of purpose through the physical preparation of the body, a more personalized family ritual that reflects the life of the deceased and provides a better transition for those left behind, and a cost of hundreds versus thousands of dollars.
Forty-two states allow families to direct and complete the disposition of their own dead, however, New Jersey funeral law prevents families from caring for their own dead without some assistance from a licensed funeral director.
- A funeral director completes the death certificate and files it with the local registrar (NJ Statute § 26:6-6)
- A funeral director obtains the burial or removal permit used for transport out of state, for burial or for cremation (second page 26:6-5.1)
- A funeral director will need to meet you at the crematory or cemetery as they need to be present at every disposition (NJ Statute § 13:36-8.10 page 54)
Home Funeral Websites
Books on Home Funerals
Other Online Resources on Home Funerals
Seven Ponds: Embracing the End-Of-Life Experience
Inside a Home Funeral, The Daily Beast, 2/5/13
The Surprising Satisfactions of a Home Funeral, Smithsonian, 3/1/09
DIY Death: Natural, At-Home Funerals and Their Boomer Appeal, WBUR Common Health