Omaha Estate Administration Attorney
Administering an Estate in Nebraska
When an individual passes away, their remaining assets and debts must be properly handled in a process known as estate administration. There are several elements of estate administration, including asset distribution, debt paying, probate, and possible litigation. This is overseen by the court and managed by the personal representative of the estate. The personal representative (also known as the “executor”) is someone who is either named in the decedent’s will or appointed by the court if the decedent passed without a will.
At Carlson & Blakeman, LLP, we assist clients with all aspects of estate planning and administration. Our attorneys have decades of experience navigating Nebraska estate administration and probate laws, and we understand the importance of personalized legal counsel in these matters. No two situations are the same, which is why we tailor our services to the unique needs of each individual client. As your legal representation, we will be there to advise you, guide you, and protect your rights at every stage of the estate administration process.
How Long Do You Have to Settle an Estate in Nebraska?
When it comes to settling an estate, several deadlines typically apply. In general, there is no single time limit by which the personal representative must settle the estate, but they are required to meet applicable deadlines throughout the process.
Estate Settling Deadlines
- Asset Inventory: Once the personal representative applies for authorization from the probate court to settle the estate, they have three months to complete their inventory of the estate. This includes both a list of assets subject to probate, as well as the value of those assets.
- Debts: Creditors generally have 60 days to make a claim against the estate once they have been alerted to probate proceedings. If the personal representative wishes to deny an invalid creditor claim, they have four months from the date of notice to do so.
- Inheritance Tax: The personal representative has one year from the date of the decedent’s death to file the state inheritance tax. If the estate is subject to the federal estate tax, the personal representative has nine months to file this return with a possible six-month extension.
- Asset Distribution: The personal representative must wait until all taxes have been paid and creditor claims have been handled to begin distributing assets.
Generally speaking, the Nebraska probate process takes about six to nine months, but there are some available shortcuts for low-value estates, as well as estates that have certain measures in place to avoid probate. Larger and/or more complex estate can take years to fully settle.
The law requires the personal representative to settle the estate “as expeditiously and efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate.” In other words, they cannot intentionally, willfully, or wantonly delay estate administration to the detriment of the estate or its beneficiaries.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Estate Administrator?
The estate administrator, or personal representative as they are known in Nebraska, has several important responsibilities. Generally speaking, this person is responsible for managing the various aspects of settling an estate after the estate owner dies.
Specifically, this entails:
- Locating and taking control of the decedent’s assets
- Opening the estate with the probate court
- Completing a full inventory of the estate’s assets
- Communicating with creditors and paying debts
- Denying invalid creditor claims
- Paying applicable taxes, including the Nebraska inheritance tax
- Locating heirs and/or beneficiaries
- Distributing assets
- Closing the estate
Navigating estate administration can be complicated and overwhelming, but our team at Carlson & Blakeman, LLP can help ease the stress, time, and hassle associated with this process. Our attorneys can make sure that you meet applicable deadlines and manage all personal representative responsibilities properly to avoid potential penalties.
Does an Executor Get Paid?
In Nebraska, executors (or personal representatives) can be paid for administering the estate. Additionally, personal representatives can be compensated for expenses they incur related to the various tasks involved in managing and administering the estate, such as paying to store assets to taking care of a real estate property to hiring professionals to assist in the estate administration process.
Why Hire an Estate Administration Attorney?
The process of administering an estate is often complex and time-consuming. Personal representatives must communicate with various entities, including the probate court and creditors, as well as properly complete and file numerous documents. It is critical that personal representatives manage all responsibilities effectively and efficiently so as to avoid making mistakes and ensure that the estate is managed according to all applicable state and federal laws.
In short, navigating estate administration on your own can be daunting.
When you work with an experienced estate administration attorney, like those at Carlson & Blakeman, LLP, they can assist you with the following and more:
- Ensuring legal compliance
- Properly inventorying assets
- Completing and submitting necessary paperwork and documents
- Working with creditors and other parties
- Meeting applicable deadlines
- Helping beneficiaries receive assets promptly
- Avoiding mistakes or lost assets
An estate administration attorney can also represent you and your best interests in probate proceedings, even if you are not the personal representative. Our attorneys are well-versed in advocating on behalf of heirs, beneficiaries, and other interested parties in probate and litigation. We are committed to protecting your rights and doing everything possible to ease the estate administration process.
Learn How Our Team Can Help You
We invite you to reach out to our firm today to learn how our Omaha estate administration attorneys can assist you with your unique legal needs. We offer complimentary consultations and same-day or weekend appointments by request. Our team is happy to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have regarding estate administration, personal representative duties, beneficiary rights, and more.