Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Nebraska

my dad left no will

My father died a couple of weeks ago and left no will that we can find --- he has a wife that he married only one year ago. He has just my sister and I for children. No one seems to be able to find anything. However, the new wife did say she found a life insurance policy with my name (the eldest daughter) as the beneficiary. How do I go about getting stuff done?

I think I need to be named personal executor but I don't know how to do any of it.

Asked on 8/10/08, 10:39 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael McClellan Gast & McClellan

Re: my dad left no will

Handling an estate, whether filed in Court for probate, or done outside of Court, involves seperate stages of locating assets, handling claims of creditors, paying expenses, being aware of taxes that might be imposed, and distributing estate assets to those persons to whom they should go.

For a small estate it need not be overly burdensome . . . advice of a probate lawyer is probably wise.

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Answered on 8/10/08, 11:04 pm
Monte Schatz Attorney at law

Re: my dad left no will

You should consult with an attorney on this matter.

You are really dealing with two issues in this situation.

1. You should be able to proceed with filing a claim for death benefits on your father's life insurance. If you know the company, contact them and have them advise you of the claim filing process.

2. As to the non insurance matters, you will need to find out the size of the estate to determine if a probate is necessary.

If an intestate probate is necessary the priority of appointment of administrator of the estate is as follows:

(1) the person with priority as determined by a probated will including a person nominated by a power conferred in a will;

(2) the surviving spouse of the decedent who is a devisee of the decedent;

(3) other devisees of the decedent;

(4) the surviving spouse of the decedent;

(5) other heirs of the decedent;

The distribution of the estate will be, in general terms as follows under Nebraska law.

The surviving spouse basically gets 1/2 of the estate:

if there are surviving issue one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate estate.

Consult with your attorney and coordinate with your father's wife as much as possible to minimize legal expenses and lack of communication.

My condolences on the loss of your father. Good luck with this matter.

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Answered on 8/11/08, 10:37 am

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