I am an Estate Law expert and will do my best to provide you with quality information. Remember, I am only permitted to give general information!
One moment as I research this for you.
And just to be clear, no adoption ever took place, correct?
That is correct--Step-Daughter never legally adopted by her Step-Mother after her Father (Husband to the Step-Mother) deceased.
Yes--That is correct--Step-Mother never adopted the now Deceased Step-Daughter--her Deceased Father was married to the Step-mother fpr over 10 years
My reading of the statute (RRS 77-2004) would be that it is a class 1, based on 2 points; you were married to the biological parent, and therefor classify as a spouse; and you were in an acknowledged child/parent relationship for presumably not less than 10 years preceding the step-daughter's death. I sympathize with the step-mother for her loss.
This is probably more information that you need, but it's a general overview of the inheritance laws in NE: http://www.revenue.ne.gov/tax_exp/2000/k.pdf.
Please let me know if you need clarification on any of the above.
I was thinking it may fall into the category of a "Remote Relative"?
I read it to be in the "Remote Relative" Category --as the reference is to the Decedent (Step-Daughter)to be in the Parent Role--which would disqualify the Step-Mother as being the Parental Role.
Thank you for that follow up. Remote relatives are considered aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, their lineal descendants (offspring) and their spouses. Since the class 1 specifically references parents, and their spouses, this is more on point that the remote relative classification. I see what you are saying about the parent role, but from a legislative intent standpoint, it would appear that the legislature was trying to acknowledge non-biological parents.
Thank you--I was reading it both ways--and, of course, could not identify a specific Step-Mother reference.
You are welcome. I would think that the legislature would clarify this in the near future, since step parenting is not an uncommon occurrence by any means!
Did you have any other questions relating to the above?
I am good with your clarification--thanks for the timely assistance.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).