How Probate Laws Work in Nebraska

If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you may be wondering what the next step is. You are still grieving the loss, but you have other responsibilities. The estate of the deceased person must be managed and the assets distributed to the heirs.

The legal process for dispersing an estate is called probate. Nebraska has laws on how this process is supposed to be handled. If you’re involved in the estate, you should be aware of some basic information about probate in Nebraska.

Is Probate Required in Nebraska?

Probate is necessary in Nebraska for estates. However, there are a few exceptions that allow the estate to pass to the heirs without going through the legal process.

How Do You Avoid Probate in Nebraska?

It is possible to keep an estate out of probate. The best way to do this is to set up a living trust for the estate. The owner of the assets still has control over what happens to them and their use, but they will pass to the named beneficiary of the trust after the person dies. Probate isn’t necessary with a trust.

If the person has assets that already have a named beneficiary, those won’t need to be included with probate. Some examples include bank accounts with a payable on death person named or a life insurance policy with a named beneficiary. If the asset is owned by two people, the surviving owner becomes the sole owner when the other person is deceased. This type of asset doesn’t need to go through probate either.

Can an Executor of an Estate in Nebraska be Compensated?

Yes, an executor can be paid for their work they do on the estate. They may also be paid for any expenses they have because of the tasks involved in managing the estate. This may include hiring other professionals or paying for storage or the care of the estate.

How Much Does an Executor in Nebraska Get Paid?

Chapter 30, section 2480 deals specifically with compensation for the executor. According to the statute, they are entitled to “reasonable compensation for his services.” If there was no contract between the decedent and the executor and the will provides for compensation, the terms will stand. However, the executor has the right to renounce payment as provided in the will for reasonable compensation, which will be determined by the court. This can happen for various reasons, such as the will was made many years ago and payment could be considered inadequate by today’s standards.

How Long Does Probate in Nebraska Take?

Probate can be a lengthy process that varies in how long from opening to closing. Small estates can be completed quickly within just a few months. The average estate will take between six months and a year. However, the time can be extended by several months or even years if someone contests the will or if other issues arise.

Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate in Nebraska?

Most estates will need to go through probate in Nebraska unless they meet one of a few exceptions, such as being in a living trust. However, Nebraska offers simplified probate procedures, which some estates will qualify for. To be eligible for simplified probate, the estate must be valued at less than $50,000. If real estate is part of the estate, it must be worth $50,000 or less after subtracting the mortgage and any liens.

Does a Will Have to Be Probated in Nebraska?

A will must be filed with the court in Nebraska regardless of whether probate is necessary. The court has the job of validating the will and handling any issues if an heir contests it. If the estate requires probate, it is often opened at the same time as when the will is filed.

Settling an Estate in Nebraska

If you’re trying to settle an estate in Nebraska, you will be glad to know it is a similar process to every other state. The steps are basically the same, but the forms required will be unique. The timelines are different and important to know if you are acting as the executor.

While these are the main steps for probate, the amount of time each one can take will vary based on the complexity of the estate.

How Long Do You Have to File Probate After a Death in Nebraska?

Nebraska statutes don’t give a deadline for filing probate, except it should be done in a timely manner. However, probate cannot be filed until after the first 120 hours after a person’s death.

Probate Court in Nebraska

In Nebraska, probate is handled in the county courts instead of district courts. Each county has its own court with the court clerk handling much of the probate process. On the Nebraska Supreme Court website, the county courts are divided by district but listed separately for contact information. You can find the court for the county where the decedent lived on this page: County Court Contacts | Nebraska Judicial Branch.

Probate Code in Nebraska

The laws governing probate for Nebraska are found in the Nebraska Revised Statutes under Chapter 30. You can read these statutes on the Nebraska legislature website to find out the most current information Nebraska Legislature.