In November 2009, a bill was signed into law reinstating the 100 percent trusting requirement for prepaid cemetery services, including cemeteries’ services such as cemetery opening and closing charges and cremation fees. Other than New Jersey, only a few other states in the country offer the same level of prepaid funeral protections currently available to NJ residents.
The passing of this law “capstones a long history of policy action designed for and dedicated to ensuring the maintenance of a prepaid funeral market in New Jersey that is credible, reliable and committed to the public interest,” said NJSFDA Executive Director Wilson H. Beebe Jr. The NJSFDA initiated the bill in 2003. After years of lobbying and several reintroductions, the association successfully guided this important piece of consumer-protection legislation into law.
What does this mean to you?
Both funeral homes and cemeteries are required to adhere to a 100% trusting standard, which requires preneed funds to be deposited into an federally insured account maintained exclusively for preneed moneys and refundable upon demand with interest (the refund-ability provision does not extend to irrevocable arrangements established for SSI/Medicaid eligibility purposes). This requirement applies to the sale of preneed services, which includes grave openings and closings as well as cremation services.
For more information on preplanning your funeral, see the "Preplanning" section.