When is Probate Required?
Probate is required most of the time, though with prior planning, it can be avoided. For instance, if the individual created a living trust, the beneficiary would automatically get the assets within it. It doesn’t need to go through probate. Things with designated beneficiaries or “payable upon death,” clauses like insurance policies and retirement benefits get a pass as well. Small estates in Nebraska don’t need to go through probate, either, but you should check with an attorney to make sure the estate is small enough to avoid going over the threshold. Lastly, property that is held jointly or that has rights of survivorship written into the contract may also bypass probate.
Probate Process in Nebraska
The probate process in Nebraska is handled differently, largely based upon how well organized the decedent was before his passing and how well the beneficiaries are getting along. There are three different types of probate administration.
The vast majority of cases in Nebraska are handled under informal guidelines. The court is still very much involved and there is a full process, from appointing an executor or personal representative, to notifying creditors and beneficiaries, having an inventory and valuation of assets made, distributing the assets, and formally closing with the courts.
Unsupervised Formal Probate
When there are disputes amongst beneficiaries or creditors are asking for funds, the court will want to monitor the probate administration more closely. There will be more steps in court, and the judge will have to give his approval before certain things, like selling assets, can be done.
Supervised Formal Probate
During supervised formal probate, the judge is involved in everything and issues orders before any action can be completed. It’s a lengthier process and how the estate is managed is often totally out of the hands of beneficiaries.
Why You Need a Probate Lawyer
Even informal probate can be challenging, simply because there are so many steps and legal documents to complete. Hiring an attorney to handle the process can help ensure that no steps are missed and that everything is done in a timely manner, so that the beneficiaries receive their allotments quickly and that no assets are lost to errors. With either form of formal probate, the time in court and the number of legal documents that need to be completed go up exponentially. Moreover, beneficiaries can lose assets based on a judge’s decision, so it’s important to be represented if it comes to this.