|This brief guide
has been compiled to assist families in Nebraska when faced with the difficult
task of arranging a funeral or cremation. Death care and funeral
planning is still somewhat of a ‘taboo’ subject in our culture. As
a result many families do not know where to start when first faced with
the task of making funeral arrangements.
What to do when a death occurs
Nebraska statures dictate who
can make the decisions about the funeral and the disposition of the body.
In Nebraska you can name the person you would like to carry out your funeral
wishes. If you do not name a person, the legal responsibility falls
to your next of kin. This means that he/she would need to assume
responsibility for making the funeral arrangements and paying the funeral
expenses. One of the first things you need to do when a death occurs
is to decide upon the type of funeral service you require and select a
funeral service provider.
family has to at least employ
the very basic services of a funeral director, even if they intend to conduct
a home burial.
Selecting a funeral home in
Selecting a funeral home is
not always a straight-forward task if you have no prior knowledge or experience
of funeral arranging. Deciding upon a suitable funeral home can be
determined by a number of factors – such as location, services offered
and the available budget. All funeral establishments in Nebraska
should be licensed by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services.
Nebraska is one of eight
states where a funeral director is required by law to witness the disposition,
It can help you to select
a suitable funeral services provider by first deciding upon some key decisions.
Do you want a burial or a cremation? Do you wish to hold a service
at the funeral home and therefore need a local location? Do you have budget
constraints for your overall funeral costs? Once you have a clear
outline or what kind of funeral you require and how much you can spend,
it can help you determine which funeral home best fits your needs.
Understanding funeral costs
Wanting to find out how much
a funeral or cremation costs is one of the key questions that families
turn to the Internet to find out today. With more families in financial
hardship, or simply not wanting to spend unnecessarily, inquiring about
exactly how much a funeral or cremation costs in Nebraska can be an important
Unfortunately not all funeral
homes choose to disclose funeral costs on their websites. However,
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made it a legal requirement for all
funeral homes to fully disclose their funeral prices when requested.
If you contact a funeral home regarding funeral or cremation costs, they
should provide you with information from their General Price List (GPL),
either over the phone or in person. If they cannot provide you with
a simple price quote – this should ring alarm bells!
A National Funeral Directors
Association survey put the average cost of a funeral at $7,045 (2012)
and this did not include cemetery costs. If a vault is included this
cost rose to $8,343. The overall average cost of a funeral in Nebraska
will reflect this national average, although ‘average’ prices are difficult
to quote as it does depend so much upon the range of ancillary products
and services purchased.
Cremation costs in Nebraska
Cremation is a much more affordable
funeral alternative. A cremation can be performed just like a traditional
funeral, only the body is cremated after the service instead of buried.
This alone saves on cemetery expenses and the average cremation costs where
a service is conducted should be approximately 40 – 50% less than a traditional
burial. Cremation costs can vary significantly though, so it is wise
to define your exact needs, whether you require a service, and then compare
cremation costs between a few cremation services providers.
Arranging a direct cremation
A direct cremation is the simplest
and least expensive cremation option. A complete direct cremation
can be conducted in Nebraska for $990.00. A direct cremation is where
the cremation disposition is handled by the funeral home but no services
are held. There is no requirement for a casket, and the cremated
remains are returned to the family in a temporary urn (unless a cremation
urn is selected at an additional cost by the family). A family can,
of course, choose to hold their own memorial service with the cremated
remains present at a later date.
Many cremation service providers
offer a direct cremation package. It can sometimes be named a simple
cremation or basic cremation. A direct cremation service should generally
include collecting the deceased, storage for the legal waiting period prior
to cremation, the crematory fee, a basic container for cremation and a
temporary urn for the cremated remains. It does not generally include
the death certificate and cremation permit fees.
DFS Memorials – low cost
cremation provider for Nebraska
Direct Cremation $990 - Phone:(402)
Help with funeral expenses in
With a reported 76% of American
families struggling to manage paycheck-to-paycheck, it is no surprise that
many more families are seeking financial assistance with funeral costs
today. Unfortunately the reality is that there is very little assistance
available. There is a lump sum Social Security death benefit of $255
if you qualify. The state has to take care of indigent burials but
this funding is for those that become the responsibility of the state,
and Nebraska State will cover only the most basic disposition.
The Nebraska Crime Commission
oversees the state's crime victim’s reparations fund and will reimburse
in cases where an application is approved – but this can take months.
There are various options open to a family in terms of raising funds for
funeral expenses and you can read more about this in ‘What
are your options on how to pay for a funeral or cremation?’
wish to read further, consult
our article on ‘DIY Funeral Care: Family-directed Funerals’.
Nebraska Funeral legislation
– laws governing home death care, embalming & casket sales
Each state has funeral legislation
statures that govern how funeral establishment and crematory practice is
managed. As mentioned earlier, Nebraska is one state where you do
legally HAVE to employ the minimum services of a funeral director.
He must submit the required permits and oversee the committal of the disposition.
You can still conduct your own home death care in Nebraska if you so wish,
and there are a number of organizations who can advise you about this.
This is no law in Nebraska
that requires embalming. Some funeral homes do implement policies
that require embalming of a body if there is to be a public viewing or
visitation for supposed public health & safety reasons. If you
are shipping a body, embalming may be required, dependent upon the shipper,
and where you are shipping the deceased to.
You can purchase a casket
from a third-party casket seller in Nebraska and your funeral home must
accept it and cannot add a surcharge.
Donating your body to science
in Nebraska – or a ‘no cost’ cremation
Making a body bequeathal to
science can be done through a medical school institute in Nebraska or through
a national body donation program. The University of Nebraska has
a ‘Deeded Body Program’, and many funeral homes participate in such programs.
A body donation can sometimes be referred to as a ‘no cost cremation’ as
many of the national organizations offer to cover all costs for the family.
your wishes and put aside the
appropriate funds in a Payable-on-death account (POD). This keeps
your money safe, and ensures funds are available to your family when the
How can I preplan and prepay
a funeral or cremation in Nebraska?
You can purchase a preneed contract
from a licensed funeral home, who must have obtained a license from the
Director of Insurance. Funds are held in trust, but you should ensure
you carefully check the terms if you should cancel the contract or should
Another option for preplanning
a funeral is to lay out
Funeral home reviews and what
do I do if I have a complaint about a funeral home in Nebraska?
Our online reviewing culture
has reached the death care industry and reviews for funeral homes can now
be posted on a number of directory sites. Testimonials and word of
mouth recommendations are still a key way that many families review funeral
homes. If you do have a complaint about a licensed funeral home,
you should attempt to resolve this with the funeral director in the first
instance. If this is not possible you may wish to consult the Nebraska
Funeral Directors Association:
521 First Street, PO Box
10, Milford, NE 68405 Phone: (402) 761-2217 www.nefda.org
Or the Nebraska Department
of Health & Human Services:
301 Centennial Mall South,
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509 Phone: (402) 471-3121
I hope this guide has answered
some of your questions about arranging a funeral in Nebraska. Please
use our Funeral Resource Library to access further articles and consumer
information about funeral planning. If you have a question that we
have not covered, please feel free to contact us, and we will do our best
to assist you.
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
Homes in Nebraska
Memorials Nebraska - Low cost cremation services providers