Caskets are available in a wide variety of materials from solid bronze and hardwoods to a plain pine box, and differ significantly in costs. A common funeral myth is that “Protective” or gasketed caskets will prevent body decomposition. While they will keep out water and other outside elements, the body will decompose regardless.
Federal law requires that a funeral home have a casket price list (CPL) available for viewing. A casket can also be ordered on-line or at a casket store and be shipped to the funeral home. Next-day delivery is usually available within New Jersey. The funeral home must receive the casket and cannot charge any extra fees for storage or handling.
For burial in a “natural” or green cemetery, where only biodegradable materials are allowed, there are lovely caskets available made from a variety of natural materials such as bamboo, rush or wood chips. These are generally made by hand by skilled crafts people and can be found on line.
Cremains can be placed in an urn, a wood box or kept in the plastic or cardboard box from the crematory. Some beautiful urns are being made by ceramic artists.
There are no laws requiring the interment of cremated remains. If interment is desired, there is no requirement for a vault. Many people want to scatter the ashes at a special place or in a memorial garden. Scattering on private land is legal with the land-owner’s permission.