71-1382.01. Cremated remains; veteran or spouse or dependent of veteran; procedures; final disposition; records; immunity.

(1)(a) If the authorizing agent or his or her representative has not directed or otherwise arranged for the final disposition of cremated remains or claimed cremated remains for final disposition as provided in section 71-1382, the crematory authority or funeral establishment may provide information regarding the unclaimed remains to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs, or a veterans service organization and request that the department or the veterans service organization working with the department:

(i) Determine if, based on the information received, the unclaimed cremated remains are those of a veteran or the spouse or dependent of a veteran; and

(ii) Verify if the decedent is eligible for burial in a veteran cemetery.

(b) The information provided to the department may include a copy of the person's death certificate, the person's name, date of birth, place of birth, date of death, marriage certificate, social security number, military service number, branch of service, or military rank on date of death, or the Department of Defense Form 214, also known as the DD Form 214.

(c) The information submitted by the crematory authority or funeral establishment to the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs shall not be considered a public record for purposes of sections 84-712 to 84-712.09.

(2) If the crematory authority or funeral establishment receives notification of a determination by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs that the unclaimed cremated remains are those of a veteran or the spouse or dependent of a veteran and such person is eligible for burial in a veteran cemetery, then the crematory authority or funeral establishment may relinquish control of such remains to a veterans service organization or a designated member or employee of such organization.

(3)(a) The veterans service organization shall provide disposition of the remains of such veteran or the spouse or dependent of a veteran with a funeral at a veteran cemetery after:

(i) The veterans service organization has made reasonable efforts to locate the authorizing agent to notify him or her of the veterans service organization's intent to claim the cremated remains for the purpose of providing disposition in accordance with this section;

(ii) The cremated remains of such veteran or the spouse or dependent of a veteran have been in the possession of the veterans service organization for a period of at least one year; and

(iii) No attempt has been made to claim the unclaimed cremated remains by the authorizing agent within such one-year period.

(b) The veterans service organization may provide disposition of cremated remains by placement in a tomb, mausoleum, crypt, or columbarium in a veteran cemetery or by burial in a veteran cemetery but shall not scatter the cremated remains.

(4) If the crematory authority or funeral establishment relinquishes control of the unclaimed cremated remains to a veterans service organization, it shall:

(a) Establish and maintain a record identifying the veterans service organization receiving the remains; and

(b) Retain such record for five years from the date of transfer of the remains to the veterans service organization.

(5) A crematory operator, funeral director, crematory authority, funeral establishment, or veterans service organization shall not be liable for the disposition of cremated remains in accordance with this section unless there is negligence or misconduct.

Source:Laws 2015, LB146, ยง 4.