Cremation Costs in Nebraska 2024

More families in Nebraska are turning to cremation as an affordable and flexible alternative to a traditional funeral.  Different cremation options are available to families, and deciding what cremation service is required is essential.   This guide takes you step-by-step through all the questions you may have about cremation costs in Nebraska.

Affordable Cremation Services USA

Below is a breakdown of average & best direct cremation prices by area in Nebraska.

CITYBEST PRICE (DFS Memorials)AVERAGE PRICECALL NOW - DFS
Bellevue$990$1,854 (402) 200-4454
Fremont$990$2,264 (402) 200-4454
Lincoln$990$2,307(402) 200-4454
Omaha$990$1,854(402) 200-4454

DFS Memorials, a network of affordable cremation service providers, offer the direct cremation prices above. Visit DFS Memorials to check cremation costs in Nebraska.

The most economical service is known as a “direct cremation,” in which the deceased is taken into the care of a funeral home or cremation provider, all the necessary legal paperwork is completed, and the body is cremated. There is generally no viewing or service with a direct cremation. 

What are the different types of cremation service options and costs in Nebraska?

There are 3 main types of cremation choices available to families in Nebraska, and we have outlined the differences below. 

Direct Cremation – a direct cremation involves the immediate cremation of the deceased without a formal funeral service being held. This basic type of cremation service has become popular due to its simplicity and cost-effectiveness.  In Nebraska, the average cost for a direct cremation in 2024 is just under $3000*.

However, it is crucial to note that prices can vary significantly depending on the location, with major metropolitan areas like Omaha and Lincoln generally offering lower costs than rural regions.

This discrepancy can be attributed to increased competition, higher population density, and greater availability of cremation facilities.  

A direct cremation is available in Omaha for just $990. Call (402) 200-4454 now for immediate assistance with a direct cremation service.

Cremation Memorial Service – a cremation memorial typically refers to the cremation taking place prior to a memorial service being held.  The memorial service can be held at the funeral home, chapel, church, place of worship, or at any chosen location.  Some families today choose to hold memorial services at community venues. 

The memorial service will usually be held with the cremation urn present as a focal tribute to the deceased.  However, memorial services are also held without the cremated remains present.

Cremation Memorial Services Nebraska

It is not as simple to give an overview of cremation memorial services’ costs, as the ‘variable’ of the memorial service will dictate the final price.  Much will depend on whether the funeral home and other ancillary services conduct the memorial, such as the type of cremation urn selected, flowers, photographs, and other tribute materials. 

As a guide, a Cremation Memorial Service in Nebraska can cost between $2,050 – $3,558.

Full-Service Cremation Funeral – This type of service is a full-service funeral, with the cremation conducted after the funeral service. Some families want to hold a visitation, wake, or formal funeral ceremony, even if they choose cremation.

A viewing, visitation, or vigil can be held at the funeral home. Family and friends can gather for a funeral service, typically with the deceased present. Following the funeral ritual, the deceased is transferred to the crematory for cremation, and the cremation ashes are then returned to the family.

Cremation service options and average cost

This cremation service is like a traditional funeral service, except the deceased is cremated after the ceremony and services instead of transferred to the cemetery for burial.  

This option enables a family to have all the traditional funeral rituals without the additional expense of cemetery plot costs.  Or a family may have a cemetery plot where they wish to inter the cremated remains. 

As a guide, the average price for a Full Service Cremation Funeral in Nebraska is $6,530*.

Understanding average cremation costs in Nebraska today?

Cremation prices

As discussed, cremation service costs vary depending on the type of service and the cremation service provider. So, quoting “average” costs can be difficult. One funeral home can charge $990 for direct cremation, yet another will charge $2,307.

They both offer the same service. The higher end of the pricing spectrum can skew an “average” price for a direct cremation.

Summary – Cremation Options & Costs

  • Cremation services have gained popularity as cremation offers a much more affordable death care alternative.  Whether the cost is the driving factor or for those families and individuals who want a simple, flexible, and more creative option.
  • Direct cremation offers families an extremely cost-effective option to manage an immediate death or preplan for a simple cremation.
  • Choosing cremation means that a family can personalize memorialization.  There are many options for conducting a memorial service and creating memorial artifacts from cremated remains.

Direct cremation

Pros:

  • Offers the most economical cremation option.
  • Can eliminate many ancillary funeral expenses.
  • Can be arranged without the need to visit the funeral home for arrangement.
  • It is easy to make arrangements from out-of-state & have cremated remains shipped to the family for a memorial service elsewhere.
  • Allows for the disposition of a body to be handled in a quick yet dignified manner. And enable the family to postpone a funeral memorial service until later.

Cons:

  • May require the family to submit online forms with the information required to process the cremation. This often helps a direct cremation provider collate data and manage staff arrangement time/costs.
  • The cremated remains are usually returned in a temporary cardboard container unless you add a cremation urn to your direct cremation service package.

Cremation Memorial Service

Help with cremation cost in Nebraska

Pros:

  • A family can still gather for a ceremony, but as the cremation is conducted first, the time frame for holding a memorial service is more flexible.
  • Memorial services can be uniquely personalized, allowing the family to be creative in the design of a service.
  • Offers a more affordable funeral celebration/ritual event.

Cons:

  • As Memorial services, or a Life Celebration Memorial, can get quite creative, the ancillary costs for the memorialization can easily escalate.

Traditional Cremation Service

Pros:

  • A funeral service is held at the time of passing and can help families to say goodbye.
  • It will cost less than a traditional burial service.
  • More funeral homes offer rental caskets for a cremation service to help reduce casket expenses.

Cons:

  • As you are conducting a traditional service with the help of a funeral director, it can be easy to find that ancillary expenses can add up.
  • A traditional cremation service is generally held fairly soon after the deceased passes.  A direct cremation or cremation memorial can enable the family to defer the need for immediate services.

What Can You Do with Cremation Ashes in Nebraska?

How to scatter ashes in Nebraska

After a cremation service, a family has several options for what to do with the cremated remains. This may depend on their preferences and beliefs or the costs associated with cremation memorialization choices.

Listed below are the main options for you to consider:

1. Keep the ashes at home:
Many families choose to keep the ashes in an urn or a particular container at home. This allows them to create a comforting presence and keep their loved ones nearby. Some families even display the ashes in a special area or create a memorial space.

2. Bury the ashes: Families can choose to bury the ashes in a cemetery or a designated burial plot. This provides a more permanent resting place and allows for future visits and remembrance. Aside from cemetery burial plots, more cemeteries offer dedicated cremation columbarium niches and bespoke memorial scattering gardens. Some gardens provide small plaques or benches to create a long-lasting tribute.

3. Scatter the ashes: Scattering the ashes can be a meaningful way to honor the deceased’s memory. Ash scattering is now a popular choice for many families. Scattering cremation ashes can hold great symbolism for many people. It represents releasing and returning a loved one’s physical remains to the elements, freeing their spirit. Scattering ashes can symbolize letting go, saying goodbye, and allowing the deceased to become part of the natural world.

These are just a few suggestions that ultimately depend on the family’s wishes and cultural or religious practices. It may be helpful to consult a funeral director who can provide guidance and support to help you decide.

Remember that there is no timeframe for when or how to memorialize a loved one. So, if you are unsure, do not make a rushed decision.

What Nebraska Legislation Governs the Requirements for Cremation Arrangements?

Cremation Laws & Process

In Nebraska, the laws governing cremations are primarily outlined by the Nebraska Board of Funeral Directing and Embalming. The Board regulates the requirements for the cremation process to ensure it is conducted safely and legally.

The main key points are:

Authorization:  Before a cremation can occur, the person with the legal authority to decide on the deceased’s remains must provide written consent. This is generally referred to as the Cremation Authorization.

Permit for disposition: A permit for disposition of the body is required for cremation. This permit is issued by the local registrar or the state’s vital statistics office. The funeral home or crematory typically handles the process of obtaining this permit.

Identification:  Nebraska law requires that the deceased be appropriately identified and tracked throughout the cremation process. This helps ensure the correct remains are returned to the family.

Documentation:  Detailed records must be maintained throughout the cremation process, including information about the deceased’s identity, the date and time of the cremation, and any medical devices or implants present.

Cremation legal requirements

Cremation container requirements: Nebraska law does not require using a casket for cremation. Families have the option of using a simple container made of combustible materials, such as a cardboard casket, or an alternative container specifically designed for cremation. The choice of container may depend on personal preference or any specific requirements set by the funeral home or crematory.

Crematory requirements:  Crematories must meet specific standards and obtain the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally in Nebraska.

Disposition of remains:  After the cremation, the cremains must be appropriately handled following the wishes of the deceased or their authorized representative.

It’s important to note that these requirements may vary slightly depending on the specific funeral home or crematory. It’s advisable to consult with a licensed funeral director or cremation provider to fully understand the legal requirements and procedures for cremation in Nebraska.

Do you have to employ a funeral director for a direct cremation? Or can you deal directly with the crematory?

Nebraska is one of eight states where a funeral director is required by law to witness the disposition. A family must at least employ the very basic services of a funeral director, even if they intend to conduct a home burial. The funeral director must submit the required permits and oversee the disposition’s committal.

How long does it take for a cremation in Nebraska?

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There is a 24-hour mandatory wait period after the death before a cremation can go ahead.  Completing the legally required paperwork usually takes at least 24 hours.  So, it is fair to say that it is usually 3-7 days for a cremation to be performed. (Longer if there are any issues with consent or issuing a death certificate)

The deceased will be sheltered in refrigerated storage during this time. A direct cremation service package generally includes refrigeration for 10-14 days. If the funeral home has to store the deceased for longer, there may be an additional daily fee for refrigeration.

The Cremation Process

The body is placed in a cremation chamber, also known as a retort. The chamber is heated to a high temperature (typically around 1,600 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) using flames, gases, or a combination of both. This process reduces the body to bone fragments, which are further processed into cremated remains or ashes.

After the cremation process and the remains have cooled, the ashes are carefully collected from the chamber. Any metal or other non-combustible items, such as surgical implants or jewelry, are removed from the ashes. The ashes are processed to ensure they are finely ground and free of any remaining fragments.

The processed cremation ashes are then placed in a temporary container or an urn, chosen by the family or provided by the funeral home.

What is the least expensive cremation service?

Direct cremation is the least expensive option. It is when cremation is carried out without a service or ceremony. It is a simple, dignified cremation of the deceased with minimal fuss and at a minimal cost.

After everything has been taken care of, the cremated remains are returned to the next of kin. A family can hold a memorial service when ready, which can even be conducted at home for much less. 

Direct cremation takes care of the immediate need to handle the disposition of the deceased. Still, it can also enable the family to defer the need for a memorial service or allow them to craft their own bespoke personalized ‘send off.’

Are there any extra fees added to a low-cost cremation service package?

Most economic cremation

The service charge for a direct cremation is listed on the funeral provider’s General Price List. It should include the funeral director’s basic services, the deceased’s collection and transfer, the completion of the legal paperwork, and the cremation. It usually includes a simple cardboard cremation container and a temporary urn.

The funeral director will pay third-party fees to the local county to obtain the death certificate and pay for any permit charges. These fees are added to the direct cremation service fee.

In Nebraska, the fee for a death certificate is $16.00. Nebraska law states that the “funeral director and embalmer in charge of the funeral” must fill out the personal details on the death certificate and file it within five business days after the death.

The attending physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner has 24 hours from death to complete the medical section of the death certificate (which states the cause of death) electronically. If there was no attending medical professional, the funeral director and embalmer must refer the case to the county attorney. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-605.)

You may require more than one death certificate, as you must simultaneously send them off to multiple institutions, organizations, or government offices.

Most authority bodies that need evidence of the death, i.e., a life insurance company, will require an original copy of a death certificate. Certified copies of a death certificate are usually available within ten days after the death. 

Additional copies of a death certificate can be obtained from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

There can also be additional charges if any of the below services are required:

  • Residential collection
  • Removal of a pace-maker
  • Overweight surcharge (above 250 pounds)
  • Family arrangement consultation
  • Mailing of cremated remains

What about a “no-cost” cremation in Nebraska?

Free cremation in Nebraska with a whole body donation

What is sometimes called a “free” cremation or “no-cost” cremation is a whole-body donation.  Once the donation is performed, the remains are cremated free of charge.  However, in some cases, there are costs associated with transporting the deceased and obtaining death certificates.

Donating your body to medical science has been an end-of-life choice for some time. However, it has undoubtedly gained more popularity in recent times. For many, it now seems a valuable disposition method, commonly called an “anatomical gift.”

Several national organizations offer an anatomical gift program through which you can donate your body to science to benefit future generations.

They arrange the collection of the deceased, medical donation, cremation of remains, and return of cremains to the family, usually at no charge. A university and Medical School in Nebraska operate a whole-body donation program.

University of Nebraska, Nebraska Anatomical Board, 986395 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-6395. 402-559-6249. Click here for Donation Registration Package.pdf

Do understand that an anatomical donation cannot always be accepted at death. It can be affected by the needs of medical and research institutions and transportation services at the time.

Visit our Body Donation page to read further about this option. 

Does Nebraska offer any financial assistance with cremation costs?

Burial or cremation assistance Nebraska

Nebraska may offer assistance depending on the county through The General Assistance Program.

Federal Resources: Social Security may pay a $255 lump-sum death benefit if qualifying, and certain veteran’s benefits are available.

County/Municipality Resources: If the decedent’s estate and/or the income and resources of responsible relatives are insufficient to meet the cremation or burial expenses, General Assistance may be authorized to meet these expenses. The deceased’s spouse can earn no more than the federal poverty level, $903 a month for one person. And the deceased, if there is no spouse, can have no more than $800 in his or her estate.

If the decedent’s body is unclaimed by next of kin or a responsible party, then the County may authorize the body to be cremated or buried. A fee of $800 (Eight hundred dollars) will be paid for cremation services. A fee of $2,150 will be paid for the county burial of an adult, and a cost of $1,147 will be paid for the burial of a minor child.

The amount of assistance varies by county and the funding available for General Assistance. For assistance information, consult your local county or municipality.

What happens if I cannot pay for a cremation in Nebraska?

As covered above, the family can explore federal, state, and county programs to determine eligibility for the deceased and surviving family. If the deceased had no pre-paid funeral plan or life insurance, the responsibility to pay the funeral bill fell to the immediate next of kin. This can be very stressful if you lose a family member and become responsible for the funeral arrangements without any resources.

Social Services Departments – Nebraska (Health & Social Programs) (countyoffice.org) (List of social services departments)

Check out this guide to What to do if I cannot afford a funeral to learn about other possible funding and charity organizations.

What happens if the deceased is at the Medical Examiner’s morgue?

Cremation columbarium space in Nebraska

If the deceased is at the coroner’s office, you must arrange for a funeral director to collect the body when the coroner signs the release form.  You must authorize the funeral director to collect your loved one and transfer him or her into their care.

Most funeral directors deal with the coroner’s office regularly, and the ME issues the authorization and permit to cremate, which can make the arrangements easier. For this reason, some funeral homes can offer a budget direct cremation when handling remains from the Medical Examiner.

Coroners & Medical Examiners – Nebraska (Death Records & Certificates) (countyoffice.org) (List of Coroners and Medical Examiners)

How to Make a Complaint if you are dissatisfied with a Cremation Service Provider

If you had a bad experience with a cremation service in Nebraska, you must notify the correct licensing and legal authorities. This way, appropriate action can be taken, and other consumers can be protected.  Below, we have detailed some steps for registering a complaint.

1. Gather information: Firstly, ensure you have all the necessary details about the cremation provider, such as their name, address, and contact information. Additionally, note down the specifics of your complaint and any supporting documentation you may have.

2. Contact the provider: Start by contacting the cremation provider directly. Explain your concerns and see if they can be satisfactorily addressed and resolve the issue. If they are unresponsive or you are not satisfied with their response, proceed to the next step.

3. File a complaint with the Nebraska Board of Funeral Directing and Embalming: The Board oversees funeral and cremation services. You can file a complaint with the Nebraska Board in writing to PO Box 99, Atkinson, NE 68713. (402) 925-5420.

Do note: The Board can only take action if it finds sufficient evidence that the funeral director has violated funeral legislation in implementing cremation regulations. If the complaint concerns a dispute regarding cremation fees, please note that the Board has no jurisdiction over the fee amount charged, only the mandated disclosure of the fee, as per the FTC Funeral Rule.

If your complaint is regarding fees charged or any other consumer issue,  you may wish to make a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.  You can file a complaint with the FTC online or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

The FTC cannot resolve individual problems for consumers, but it can act against a funeral/cremation company if it sees a pattern of law violations.

4. File a complaint with the Nebraska Attorney General: Another option is to contact the Attorney General’s Office.  Online complaints can be submitted here.

Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, 2115 State Capitol, PO Box 98920, Lincoln, NE 68509. Phone: (402) 471-2683. Email: ago.info.help@nebraska.gov. Fax: (402) 471-3297.

5. Seek legal advice: If the issue remains unresolved, or you feel further action should be taken, you might consider consulting with an attorney specializing in funeral law or consumer protection. They can provide legal guidance and help explore your options for further action.

If you have further questions about cremation services or costs in Nebraska that we have not answered, please get in touch with us. We are here to assist you.

Written by

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 15 years.