Arranging a Funeral or Cremation Service in Kansas

This guide aims to answer some key questions about making funeral or cremation arrangements in Kansas. We provide an overview of some legal aspects of making funeral plans specific to Kansas funeral laws and what funeral or cremation costs to expect.

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How do you choose which funeral home or cremation provider is right for your needs?

This is the most important element of ensuring you are entirely satisfied with the services rendered.  You need to employ the services of a funeral home or cremation company that truly understands and meets your needs. Be it a full-service family funeral, or a simple no-fuss cremation. There are over 490 funeral homes in Kansas, so you really have to narrow down your selection. 

How do I find a funeral home or cremation provider in Kansas?

You are already at the right place to find your local funeral or cremation provider in Kansas. US Funerals Online has a complete directory of all funeral homes and cremation providers, organized by city in zip code order, making it very easy to locate your nearest provider and compare funeral homes in your area. Use the shortcut links to your city at the top right of the page.

Do you want a burial or cremation in Kansas?

This is a key decision to be made to help ascertain what type of services you require. Deciding between a burial or a cremation is a personal choice, as decided by the family, or by the deceased’s wishes. Cremation is becoming much more popular today for reasons of personal choice and cost. A burial generally works out more expensive than a cremation because of the additional services/merchandise required, such as casket, cemetery plot, grave liner and embalming. 

Direct cremation

Can I arrange a ‘home funeral’ or green burial in Kansas?

Yes, Kansas is a state in which you are permitted to conduct your own home funeral care without the need for employing a funeral director. All that is legally required is the filing of the death certificate and for cremation a ‘coroner’s cremation authorization’. Natural or green burials and family-directed funerals are gaining popularity as we revert back to taking a more active role in death care within our culture. 

What is the cost of a funeral or cremation in Kansas?

This is one question that many people get online to attempt to find out today. Unfortunately, not all funeral homes choose to disclose prices on their websites. A funeral home must provide you with a general price list (GPL) if you make inquiries about funeral services, according the FTC’s ‘Funeral Rule’. Be sure to carefully check any package offers to ensure that you are only paying for services/products you truly require.

The cost for a cremation or burial can vary considerably, depending on your location and the service provider you select. It is recommended that you compare equivalent services/prices from more than one provider. 

If you are looking for an affordable yet dignified cremation service, you may wish to visit DFS Memorials, a network of local, family-owned funeral & cremation companies that all offer a direct cremation at a low-cost. Call on (913) 210-0212.

Sending funeral flowers in Kansas

Funeral flowers are considered an integral aspect of enhancing a funeral service, yet these days they can prove an expensive additional cost. To help you save money on funeral flowers in Kansas, US Funerals Online has teamed up with BloomsToday to offer our visitors a 25% – 50% discount on funeral flower arrangements.

Is embalming required in Kansas?

No, embalming is not required by law if a body is to be cremated or buried within a reasonable time period after death. Although some funeral homes do have policies that require embalming in the case of open casket public funeral services.  

What are my options for purchasing a casket or alternative container?

You can purchase a casket from your chosen funeral home, or you have the right to purchase a casket from a third-party casket retailer. A funeral home MUST accept a casket purchased from a third-party and cannot charge you a fee for handling it. This is federal law implemented by the FTC ‘funeral rule’ and it applies in Kansas.  

This has changed the funeral industry significantly and for many years caskets have often been cheaper if purchased from a high street or online casket seller. 

However, the shift towards cremation is causing such a loss in revenues for funeral homes, that they will now often price-match a casket price.

There is no state law that requires that a casket must be used for a burial or cremation in Kansas.  For cremation a ‘rigid alternative container’ is required. This can ordinarily be a sturdy cardboard or plywood box. Some funeral homes now offer rental caskets for the purposes of a funeral service, and this can significantly reduce overall funeral costs.

photo of funeral casket and a basket of flowers

What are burial and cemetery plot requirements in Kansas?

There are no laws that specifically permit or prohibit a burial on your own land, but you should check with county officials regarding any local ordinances or zoning for burial on non-cemetery property.  A casket or burial vault is not required by state law; however, most cemeteries have their own regulations. This may include stipulating that an outer burial container is required to help prevent subsidence. You should also carefully check cemeteries requirements for fees for opening and closing a plot, restrictions on what kind of grave marker can be erected and any perpetual care insurance.

Can I pre-plan a funeral or cremation? How does Kansas state law govern preneed plans?

Yes, you can pre-plan and pre-finance a funeral or cremation in Kansas, which will be financed by a trust fund or through an insurance product. Agents selling preneed contracts must have notified the Secretary of State of their intent to sell preneed funeral contracts.

You should fully consider what kind of pre-financing you require. Some preneed contracts are transferable and refundable, whereas others may have limitations. Whilst there is no provision for a refund of an irrevocable funeral trust contract, revocable trusts can be refunded. A full refund is payable, with interest, minus any administration costs.

It is also possible to pre-plan your funeral wishes and put aside the appropriate funds in a POD (Totten Trust) account. Read our article ‘What is my best and safest option for putting aside money for a funeral?’ to learn more about setting up a POD account.

What are the laws for scattering ashes in Kansas?

Ash scattering is becoming a much more popular activity as cremation gains popularity. And, of course, Kansas has many beautiful rural land and water areas over which to disperse cremated remains. You can scatter ashes on many public lands without needing any kind of permit. Although if you opt to conduct an ash scattering in public land such as state parks or city parks, it would be advisable to ensure you obtain the appropriate governmental agency approval. You should seek consent to scatter ashes on any private lands, unless this is land you own yourself.   

A top tip is not to rush to scatter remains, and/or keep a small portion of the ashes, as the decision to scatter is an irreversible one. You can either do it yourself, which is the most cost-effective way to conduct a memorable ash scattering service. Or you can use the services of an agent. There are numerous ash-scattering organizations that will offer aerial, land and water scattering, either attended or unattended. If you scatter yourself the general guidance is to scatter at least 100 yards from any road, trail, and body of water or developed facility.  

What help is available with funeral/ cremation expenses in Kansas?

Kansas changed their indigent burial assistance program in 2010 and there is now no state support.  This means that the various counties are under no obligation to help the poor pay for burial expenses; however, according to state law, counties are responsible for paying for the burial or cremation of unclaimed bodies. As you can imagine, this has led to an issue with unclaimed bodies.  Unclaimed bodies are offered to the University’s Medical Center for the Anatomical donation program but unfortunately not all are accepted. Each county has to deal with the disposal of unclaimed bodies as a health issue.

Many funeral homes will endeavour to support families on low income to conduct a funeral. There is a one-time death benefit from SSA of $255 for those that qualify, and veterans and some dependents are entitled to certain benefits such as a cemetery plot and grave marker. Fort Leavenworth VA cemetery has room for cremated remains whereas Fort Scott has space for both casketed and cremated remains. There are also state-run veteran’s cemeteries at Fort Dodge, Fort Riley, WaKeeney, and Winfield.

Some charity and community groups may offer guidance on how to access a low-cost cremation. 

Direct Cremation Service $695 Call (913) 210-0212

Residents of Missouri (Jackson County) can phone the county counsellor’s office (816-881-3355) to seek help with indigent burials or cremations. Residents of Platte County and Clay County should phone their local public administrator’s office for assistance with indigent burials.

Cremation Plan

Are whole-body donations permitted in Kansas?

Yes, you may donate your body to science in Kansas. The University of Kansas offers a whole-body donation program and they can be reached at:

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology  
University of Kansas Medical Center  
39th & Rainbow Blvd.  
Kansas City, Kansas 66103  
(913) 588-2735

In addition, US Funerals Online works with Medcure, a national anatomical donation organization.  Do note that not all donations are accepted at the time of death, and you do need to check the arrangements of a donation program, especially the arrangements for returning the cremated remains to the family if desired.

What do you do if your loved one dies away from Kansas?

Unfortunately, this can occur more often these days as we travel more. US Funerals Online has a toll-free funeral shipping helpline 877-347-8086 or you can visit our dedicated information page on ‘What to do when a loved one dies away from home’

If you do regularly travel for work, pleasure, sport, visiting family, or snow-birding, you may wish to consider our great value Travel Protection Plan. This plan costs just $450 for an individual for lifetime protection against the costly expense of returning a body home if a death occurs 75 miles (or further) from your residence. It also provides global coverage. Domestic funeral shipping can cost from $3,000, and International repatriation can start at around $6,900.

Where do I get a copy of a death certificate from in Kansas?

Certified copies of a death certificate are available from Kansas Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics. There are 6 ways you can request a copy of a death certificate – by regular mail, priority mail, telephone, fax, online, and a walk-in customer service. Copies cost $15.00 each. You need to use the Vitalchek system for online ordering. To apply in person, visit Curtis State Office Building, 1000 SW Jackson, Ste. 120, Topeka, KS 66612, or phone (785) 296-3253 to request a copy by mail.

What should you do if you have a complaint about funeral services or products you have purchased?

If you should have a complaint about funeral services or products purchased in Kansas, you can make a formal complaint to the agencies listed below that will investigate your complaint.

Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts  
700 SW Jackson St., Suite 904   
Topeka, Kansas 66603- 3733   
(785) 296-3980

Consumer Protection/Antitrust Division  
Kansas Attorney General’s Office   
120 SW 10th Street, Ste 430 
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1597   
(785) 296-3751

If your complaint is with regards to the purchase of a preneed funeral plan, you will need to contact the following agencies:

Kansas Insurance Department, 420 SW 9th St., Topeka, Kansas 66612 Phone (785) 296-2283

Kansas Secretary of State, Memorial Hall 1st Floor, 120 SW 10th Street, Topeka, Kansas, 66612 Phone (785) 296-4564

Consumer help groups and advocates:

The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas can be reached at PO Box 7021, Kansas City, MO 64113

Related Articles:


Funeral Homes in Kansas
DFS Memorials – Save on Cremation Costs in Kansas

Written by

Nicholas is the owner & founder of US Funerals Online. He has been involved in the death care industry for over 20 years. He spent his childhood between the UK and US. Setting up a UK funeral website in 1998, to later turn his attention back to North America, building both US and Canadian Funeral websites. In 2011 formed DFS Memorials LLC - a national cremation company, specializing in affordable cremations.