Additional Information: Estates

Additional Information: Estates

Lawful distribution of a deceased person’s assets and liabilities is handled as an estate in Nebraska’s county courts.  Each estate will be different, depending upon the deceased’s property, finances, family and whether the individual expressed his or her wishes in a Last Will and Testament.   Because of these differences, filing an estate will most often require the help of an attorney. However, the law does allow you to represent yourself if you so choose.

Settling an estate can be complicated, and completion of the Inheritance tax form and Probate Inventory Worksheet can be difficult.  Because of the complexity of estates, this Self-Help Center cannot provide forms for all possible situations in this process.

You have the option to hire a lawyer to do only part of your case.  This is called Limited Scope Representation.

You may be able to proceed without Probate if:

  • the fair market value of the entire estate of the deceased, less liens and encumbrances (everything the deceased owned minus everything the deceased owes) is $50,000.00 or less
  • thirty days or more have passed since death
  • you are not a creditor to the estate
  • there is not a Personal Representative, application for Personal Representative, or petition for Personal Representative and
  • ownership of real property (such as land) does not need to be transferred.

If you meet all these requirements, the information below may help you:

Flowcharts

The flowchart listed below may help you understand the process for a very simple probate case with a will.

Flowchart for Informal Probate Filed with a Will (Testate) 

The above referenced flowchart does not apply to cases where there is no will, the will is contested or the estate or distribution of assets are contested.

Additional statutory background

Nebraska estate law is part of the Nebraska Probate Code.  Statutes included in the Code are listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-2201. Nebraska Supreme Court Rules and case law – decisions of the Nebraska Supreme Court and other courts – also impact estates.