Explanation of Charges
Since 1982, the Federal Trade Commission has overseen the manner in which funeral homes present prices to the families they serve. All charges have been standardized into distinct categories of itemized charges for goods and services selected.
Below is a brief description of the categories of services and merchandise that funeral homes offer. If you have any questions about funeral home charges, please ask your funeral director for more information.
The Professional Services category identifies the charges for services of the funeral home's licensed staff. The licensed staff embalm, dress, and casket the deceased and coordinate, supervise and conduct the funeral.
Other Staff and Related Facilities
This category includes charges for the use of facilities, equipment, licensed and support staff for additional services offered by the funeral home. These services include gathering and visitation, memorial and funeral services.
Transportation includes charges for the staff’s time and vehicle used to transfer the deceased to the funeral home. In addition, this category includes charges for transportation of the deceased and others to the cemetery or crematory, or to a gathering or funeral service at a location other than the funeral home. Vehicles used may include the hearse, limousine, flower car and other funeral service vehicles.
Merchandise usually consists of the casket, urn, outer enclosure or burial vault. Other items in this category include printed and digital memorial goods.
Estimated Cash Disbursements
Cash disbursements are moneys the funeral home may have to pay to others, in advance, on your behalf. Cash disbursement items are not included in the funeral home’s price list. Examples of service providers that require advance payment are the cemetery, crematory and church/synagogue. Other items that require payment in advance are death certificates, permits and the newspaper. The funeral director may have to estimate cash disbursements at the time the funeral arrangements are made, until they are able to confirm the actual charges required by the service providers. Your final funeral home bill will have the actual cost of the cash disbursements. New Jersey funeral homes do not mark up the cost of cash disbursement items.