Where to Begin

To prearrange a funeral for yourself or a family member, you must first meet with a licensed funeral director. She or he will talk with you about the kind of funeral you desire and ask you to make a number of decisions that otherwise would be discussed after death.

Through the course of the prearrangement, the funeral director will provide you with a General Price List (GPL) outlining all merchandise and services available to you at that funeral home. The choices you make will be recorded on an itemized statement (entitled a Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected). The statement will list all requested services, merchandise and charges involved. Any advance payment you make toward your funeral will be held in trust as required by New Jersey law to ensure the money will be there when it is needed.

If you intend to preplan your funeral, tell a family member or close friend about it. Give them the information on the funeral home you chose and that prearrangements were made. You may also want to consider asking someone to accompany you to the prearrangement conference. This person can help identify the person who will have the authority to sign off on the arrangement at the time of your funeral. (See "Controlling Your Funeral" in the Decisions section of this Website.)