Cremation Services
Cremation Services
An affordable alternative to a burial.

DeGraff Lakehurst Funeral Home
119 Union Ave.
Lakehurst, NJ 08733
732-657-7868     Read Obituaries Pre-Need


We live in Toms River, where can we buy an urn and cremation jewelry?

Most funeral homes sell both.  We have people stop in often who have used other funeral homes but have heard of our large selection of urns and cremation pendants for necklaces, rings etc.

What does Medicaid contribute toward funeral expenses?

For individuals over two years of age, Medicaid will pay the funeral home up to, $2,246.00 and provide up to $524.00 toward the cemetery/crematory expenses.  The family is allowed to contribute an additional $1,570.00.  These amounts change for stillborn and children under two years of age.  The Ocean County Board of Social Services will check all resources available before the allowance is issued.  As with all NJ Counties.

All I want is cremation. Why can’t I go directly to the crematory?

 NJ seperates the two industries. The Funeral Home or Cremations service are the same.  The cemetery is a separate industry.  The cemeteries in NJ are only for final placement of deceased remains., either earth burial, above ground mausoleum or the location of a crematory.  The funeal Home, is the license that is needed to file all paperwork, death certificate,, arrange cemeterery choice, etc. and to educate and guide the family through funeral process.  Only licensed funeral director’s can transport deceased remains to cemeteries in NJ for the final mode of disposition.

My parents live in Ocean County and want to be cremated. Do we have to come to your state to make the arrangments?

No.  We would advise you to make pre-arrangements but this can be done at need.  We could mail, e-mail or fax all forms to you.  After completing all the information and signatures on the  authorization forms. (notary required)  return all forms and mail inked copies to us.

Can Catholics be cremated and still have a Funeral Mass?

Yes.  The preference is for the body to be present but they can have a memorial mass (no body present) with cremains present for the mass.  However, In the Catholic faith, the cremains should be placed in consecrated ground.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Broad question…. Many things affect the bill. First, your choices of merchandise, services, etc… Also, funeral homes themselves, prices vary due to operational overhead as with all businesses. However, as a consumer, around. Get several estimates from multiple funeral homes, then compare. Funeral homes are required by federal laws to disclose their prices in writing, known as a General Price List (GPL) for your retention and it must be given to you when makeing arrangements or receiving an estimate in person.

If we do not belong to a church, can we still have a religious service?

Yes, Your funeral director can obtain any religious service you want, even if you do not belong to a specific church.

What if I prearrange and pay for my funeral and my children want to change it when I die?

Arrangements can always be changed, you are never locked in.

What if I prepay my funeral and then move out of New Jersey?

In NJ you control your prepaid funeral money. The funds can be transferred to any funeral home, in any state, at any time you choose. You are never locked into the funeral home you pre-paid.

If we prepay our funeral is that price guaranteed?

Prices usually go up. But many times the interest earned will offset price increases. The outside charges of cemetery or crematory fee’s, obituaries, clergy and death certificates are outside the funeral homes control. They are seperate businesses.

If we prepay our funeral, what happens to our money if the funeral home goes out of business?

In N.J. your money is safe. N.J. does not allow the consumer to prepay the funeral home directly. Prepaid funerals must be deposited in either a paid-up insurance product or a pooled trust fund. Either funding vehicle is controlled by the consumer, earning interest and transferable to another funeral home at any time or refundable to the consumer. (Exception: Irrevocable/Medicaid situation is not refundable but can be transferred)

If I want to make my funeral arrangements, do I have to prepay at the same time?

No. Many people just make their pre-arrangements, thus providing all their biographical information, service choices and merchandise selctions and family contact information. This is then put on file at the funeral home, which does take alot of pressure off your family at the time of death, leaving them more time to deal with the emotional aspects.

Can we stop someone from attending a viewing?

Yes and No. If there is a public obituary indicating the services at a funeral home, the answer is no, you have informed and invited them. If there is no obituary and the services are private then yes, it is only who you invited. However, if it is immediate family that has equal control, the funeral director will usually set up a private time so they too can say goodbye.

Does Social Security contribute money toward funeral expenses?

No. Social Security pays a one time payable death benefit to a surviving spouse of $255.00. If you are single there is no death benefit. This benefit is paid direct to the spouse not to the funeral home.

If I am someone’s Power of Attorney or Executor, can I arrange for their cremation?

Yes and No in New Jersey.  Yes, you can make their funeral arrangements as P.O.A.  Power of Attorney gives you the right to act on their behalf while they are alive, depending on what kind of P.O.A you have.  But the authority to consent to their cremation must be authorized by their next of kin unless in the will you are named as their funeral agent.  (refer to our first blog about funeral agent)  Remeber, P.O.A ends the moment the person dies.  Executor in NJ does not take place until the will is filed.  A will in NJ can not be filed until ten working days after the date of death.  Therefore, next of kin holds the authority to consent for cremation between the two titles unless you are also a funeral agent.

Do I need to purchase a casket if my family wants to have a viewing before cremation?

No.  Most funeral homes  offer a rental casket for this purpose.  The rental casket has an insert inside,  (insert::  Cardboard container which holds, pillow, bedding and deceased) so after the viewing the insert is slid out for cremation.  This  does not disturb the deceased.  The empty shell of the casket remains and the deceased is cremated with the insert.

What information do I need to make funeral arrangements?

The information you will need is the person’s address, father and mother’s name, including her maiden name, place of birth and date of birth, social security number, discharge papers if the individual served in the US Military and cemetery information, if they own a grave.

Are vaults required for caskets only?

No. If a cemetery requires vaults for casketed deceased’s,  they may also require a small urn vault for cremains.  This is an individual cemetery requirement.  We check each cemetery as needed.

Is it a law that a vault is required to bury someone in a cemetery?

No. It is a cemetery requirement not a NJ state law.   Each individual cemetery may or may not require a vault.  The vault helps stop graves from caving in and creating low spots in a cemetery.

If I want to be viewed, do I have to be embalmed?

No. In NJ embalming is required if the viewing is 48 hours after death.

If I want to be cremated, can I still have a viewing?

Yes.  Cremation is only a method of disposition, which in NJ takes place at the cemetery (methods: Burial, Entombment or Cremation) this does not take place at the funeral home/cremation service.  So services before the cemetery/crematory are your choice,  traditional viewing/private family viewing, church services, memorial service or celebration of life service.  With cremation, your options are endless.

I’m married to a Veteran. Can I be buried with them?

Yes, the widower or widow of any of our US Armed Forces, their minor children and their unmarried adult children, under certain conditions are also eligble for burial or niche placement.

Is the NJ Veterans Cemetery only for Veterans that served during a war or retired military?

No.   Burial in a veterans cemetery is open to all who have served in the Armed Forces.  The veteran must have met minimum active duty requirements and discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.  Also, the actual name of the cemetery is Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Who do I inform that I have chosen a funeral agent to carry out my arrangements?

You will have to inform the Executor, who should have a copy of your will in addition to the chosen funeral agent.  They can then present the request you have made and carry out your wishes.  Also, if you make pre-arrangements with a funeral home they will need a copy.  Some people will inform their family members.

Cremation in New Jersey

First thing to know.  In NJ Cremation Services and Funeral Homes are the same, they are all registered as funeral homes.  The different names are used to target specific consumer markets or a business that prefers to target a specific mode of disposition, burial, entombment and cremation.  All physical cremations take place at a cemetery which is licensed to own and operate a crematory.  (one of the three modes of disposition)  Note, there is only one funeral home in Atco, NJ which is grandfathered by law that has a crematory on their property, now they all belong on cemetery property.  Yes, the Funeral Director is needed.  The Funeral Director secures all authorizations, files death certificates, transports the deceased to and from cemetery/crematory, prepares obituaries, embalming, viewings, memorial services and guides the family through their options.

DeGraff Lakehurst Funeral Home, Inc. Serving All Faiths
We are here to assist
You In Making Your Arrangements:


Sherry DeGraff, Manager N.J. Lic. No. 3921
Donald DeGraff, Director N.J. Lic. No. 4576
Patricia DeGraff, Director N.J. Lic No. 4442
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