All About Funeral Home Laws

By: Ron Curry
Monday, July 16, 2018

Most people are unaware that funeral homes in Newark and the rest of New Jersey have rules and regulations by law. There aren’t many states in the union that have funeral home laws, so it’s no wonder people from Newark, NJ get caught unawares.

Funeral home laws in Newark, NJ cover funeral home aspects from funeral directors and body preparation to transportation and more. Read on to learn more about funeral home laws in Newark and the rest of New Jersey.

Funeral Directors

By law, a licensed and certified funeral director must be in charge of a body’s final disposition. What does this mean? One example is that New Jersey state law mandates that the funeral director overseeing final disposition must file the death certificate.

However, just because the funeral director has to be in charge of the disposition doesn’t mean that he or she has the right to make any final decisions about the body or funeral services. In fact, the law states that the right to make final decisions belongs to anyone appointed by the deceased in a will, or family members if no appointment is made.


Embalming is never required in New Jersey unless the body is going to be transported by a common carrier for more than 24 hours. For example, if you’re moving the body from Newark to a different town or state for the funeral via train or airplane and the trip will take more than 24 hours total, the body must be embalmed.

Death Certificates

A medical examiner or personal physician must initiate the deceased’s death certificate within 24 hours of the death as per New Jersey law. The funeral director, in charge of the final disposition, is also in charge of providing the burial particulars information for the death certificate. He or she must then file the death certificate using New Jersey’s state electronic death registration system.

Do keep copies of the death certificate on hand as you will need them before tasks, like transferring the deceased’s property, can be carried out. The funeral director can and should provide copies of the death certificate.

Transporting The Body

Bodies require permits for transportation to and from funeral homes in Newark, New Jersey or around the rest of the state. The funeral director can help get all necessary permits.

Home Burial and Cremation

There are certain zoning laws in New Jersey that might prevent you from burying a body at home or starting a family cemetery. Do check with your local ordinances.

There are also laws regarding cremation, including you must obtain a cremation permit 24 hours before the cremation is to take place.

Plinton Curry Funeral Home

Plinton Curry Funeral Home offers funeral home services in Newark, NJ from two convenient locations: 411 West Broad Street, Westfield NJ and 428 Elizabeth Ave Somerset, NJ. Our well-maintained Newark, NJ funeral home is here for you in your time of need. Call us today at 908-232-6869 or 732-469-3300 to learn more.

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