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Steep end-of-life costs add extra pain to losing a loved one

Steep end-of-life costs add extra pain to losing a loved one. (NTV News)

The loss of a loved one is raw and emotional. The end of a journey can obviously be devastating to a family, and devastating to whoever is paying for it.

It can cost up to $4,000 for a casket, and big bucks for a headstone.

If you want tea served at the after the funeral, it'll cost you.

Even places like Walmart sell caskets - death is big business. Ryan Redinger, funeral director at O'Brien Straatman Redinger funeral home in Kearney, said between the casket, cemetery plot, service, gravestone and a consultation - it all adds up.

And it’s not some big secret. Redinger scrolls through caskets with their prices prominently displayed.

How are you supposed to pay? "All funeral homes are required to present a price list. The price list is a list of all services presented by funeral homes. The family can choose the one that best fits," Redinger said. Nebraska is pretty middle-of-the-road when it comes to funeral services - an average of $6,500 - but that doesn't include the plot or the gravestone.

That could add a few grand more. "Prices range from $4,000 for cremation memorial services and up," Redinger said.

Dr. Scott Ehresman of Holdrege lost his dad a year ago this month. When his 83-year-old father passed, Ehresman found something out.

"My father and mom had already placed all these things and so we didn't have to price a casket, it had already been picked out and purchased," Ehresman said. The elder Ehresman had it all mapped out.

Redinger said families have to have that difficult conversation - what should the service look like? And is the money there to pay for the passing?

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