Contact Us

Connect to the information you need in order to make end-of-life choices.

5 Things Millennials Need to Know About Funerals

If you’re a millennial, you might not want to think about funeral planning. After all, you’re young. Your life is ahead of you, and no one wants to think about what happens at the end of it all.

But you should think about it, because a funeral service is designed to speak for who you are and were – a celebration of the life you’ve created, the people you’ve touched and the love you’ve shared. Times have changed. It doesn’t have to be your grandma’s funeral anymore.

Here are five tips to help you.

1)  OK, I’m with you. But how do I get started? The first step, obviously, is choosing a funeral home. Someone needs to handle the remains and prepare them for disposition. Funeral directors are the ones prescribed in New Jersey statute to do that, but you shouldn’t feel boxed in by your family’s historic choices.

Begin by doing your research. Most funeral homes have websites now that give an idea of the kinds of services that are available. Find one with which you are comfortable and talk it all over. Your funeral director is experienced in establishing the level of comfort and confidence you need to make sometimes confusing and difficult decisions. The NJSFDA provides a searchable database to help you with finding a funeral home.

2)  I don’t want to be buried. Seems like a waste of space, time and money. More people are beginning to choose cremation as an option over traditional burial. Statistics compiled by the National Funeral Directors Association indicate that more than half of all dispositions in the United States are now cremations. But what does this mean for you?

First and foremost, it does not mean that you cannot have a funeral service. You can still have your friends and relatives gather to celebrate your life, whether there is a body present or not. So plan away! You can still hold services at the funeral home, if that’s what you decide, but you’re not limited to that. You can hold your remembrance at a place of worship or a park you love. Maybe the beach was your favorite place. You can gather there or hold a luncheon at a restaurant you frequented. The service doesn’t need to be religious in nature. It could also be a separate remembrance following religious services. The choice is yours.

Your funeral director can also help you make the choice of whether you wish to have the deceased’s body at the service. If so, this will need to take place before cremation. But you can also have the deceased’s ashes present. You can have photos, videos or other items of remembrance there as well.

3)  But I’m not religious. Why do I even need services? The answer is that services do not necessarily have to be religious in nature. This is where a certified funeral celebrant comes in.

A celebrant isn’t always a religious figure. He or she is an officiant who will help you craft a personalized funeral ceremony. That ceremony could feature public speaking or incorporate pastimes that were near and dear to the deceased, such as bowling, baseball or golf. The celebrant essentially works with you and the family to craft a ceremony that is meaningful and sets the appropriate mood you want.

4)  I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a casket. Help! No problem. Help is here. Many funeral homes now allow you to rent a casket. Your funeral director can guide you if you choose this direction.

5)  Before I head to the funeral home, I’d like to get an idea of what’s available and how much it will cost. You can price your arrangements out online! The Funeral Matters Builder allows you to choose the items you want, so you can work within a budget. This way, when discussing arrangements with a funeral director, you have an idea of what you want and what it could potentially cost.

Funeral planning might not be something you are looking forward to, but it doesn’t have to be painful. So make those plans now and make that celebration of life memorable.