In re Hessler Living Trust

Case Number(s)
Case Audio
Call Date
Case Time
Court Number
Scotts Bluff
Case Location
Court Type
County Court
Case Summary

S-23-0472 In re Michael Hessler Living Trust, Heidi Shaddick, Amber Rocha, & Brock Hessler (Appellants) v. Robert Hessler, Successor Trustee of the Michael Hessler Living Trust, & Lori J. Miller (Appellees)

Appeal from the County Court for Scotts Bluff County, Judge Kris D. Mickey

Attorneys:  Cathy S. Trent-Vilim, John M. Walker, & Daniel J. Waters (Lamson Dugan & Murray LLP for Appellants), Thomas T. Holyoke and Andrew W. Snyder (Holyoke, Snyder, Longoria, Reichert & Rice PC LLO for Appellee Robert Hessler, Trustee), and  Jeffrey T. Peetz and Allyson G. Rafferty (Peetz Koerwitz & Lafleur PC LLO for Appellee, Lori J. Miller)

Civil:  Apportionment of Inheritance Taxes, Interpretation of Trust Agreement, and Venue

Proceedings below: After this case was transferred from the County Court for Lancaster to the County Court for Scotts Bluff, the County Court for Scotts Bluff granted partial summary judgment on the issue of the Decedent’s intent to not apportion inheritance taxes and denied Appellee Miller’s motion for sanctions.  On its own motion, the Supreme Court ordered this case to be transferred from the docket of the Court of Appeals to its docket.

Issues:  Appellants make the following assignments of error:  1) The County Court for Scotts Bluff County erred when it received extrinsic evidence to determine Decedent’s intent instead of construing ambiguities in the Trust Agreement and Third Amendment in favor of apportionment; 2) Since the Trust Agreement did not include a clear and unambiguous direction for inheritance taxes to be handled in a manner different than the Nebraska statutes, the County Court for Scotts Bluff County erred when it concluded all inheritance taxes were to be paid by the Children out of the residuary instead of proportionally by the respective beneficiaries; and 3) The County Court for Lancaster County erred when it concluded venue was more proper in Scotts Bluff County, where the Trust was registered, instead of Lancaster County, where the proceedings were initiated and the disputed real property was located.

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