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Nebraska Probate Law – Estate, Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney

Omaha Probate Attorney Jeff Heineman has 29 years of knowledge and experience in probate matters, including wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney.

Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies. It includes:

  1. Having someone appointed the Personal Representative (PR) – The Will will have an individual nominated as PR, and that person will serve as the PR in most cases.
  2. The PR then must identify and inventory the deceased’s personal property.
  3. Pay debts and taxes.
  4. Distribute monies and property pursuant to the Will.
  5. With all the above, the PR will be filing various documents with the Court.

Probate does require paperwork and some court appearances.  Your attorney will work with you to accomplish the probate.   If there is no will, then it may be necessary to file for a probate and have someone appointed by the Court as PR.  If someone close to you passes, but you cannot find a will, you should seek counsel to know your rights and what steps to take to protect the deceased’s property.

The PR must send notice to all close relatives of the deceased and anyone mentioned in the Will.  Then the PR find, secure, and manage the estate property.  The length of a probate is usually around 5 to 6 months.  However, the circumstances of the probate may require more time.  In my experience, the biggest influences on completing a probate is the effort of the PR and the speed which the beneficiaries comply with requests from the PR.

PR are empowered to sell what is necessary to pay debts and to comply with bequests.  These vary from case to case.  If the deceased desire that his/her beneficiaries should receive cash disbursements, then the PR will need to sell real and personal property to accomplish these directives.

Two other things: 1. Only very, very large estates pay any tax.  2. Beneficiaries pay an inheritance tax which varies depending on the receiver’s relationship to deceased.  For the surviving husband or wife, there is no inheritance tax.