Thank you for your kind patience. My apologies for any delay, but research takes a while and It took several hours to research your question under Nebraska law.
I am reprinting below, a portion of Nebraska Revised Statute Section 34-2414 for your reference.
I believe that the reason you were not getting a clear answer from anyone is because normally, an estate is "opened" so that a will can be probated and the assets of the estate are distributed in accordance with the decedent's directives in their will, or if they had no will, the assets would be distributed in accordance with Nebraska's Intestacy Laws. However, your situation is such, that everything is in trust and the only reason an estate has to be "opened" is so that you can be appointed the Personal Representative and authorize you to distribute the IRA to yourself and your brother.
The Nebraska Court has many forms that can be downloaded, but they are mostly for Family Court matters and a few for civil litigation. Apparenty, they have not gotten to the Probate forms yet because none are available on the internet.
To save yourself time, and not have to do them from scratch, it would be a good idea to call the Clerk's Office and ask them to email you the forms. Form 200, is the Petition for Formal Probate and Appointment of Personal Representative. This is used where there are several different assets and several beneficiaries and you should not be required to go through all of that. in the estate and requires which is which you will submit to the Court. Since you are only dealing with the IRA account, you should ask the Clerk of the Court if you can file a Petition for Informal Probate which is a shorter version. There was no form available for downloading and the Statute does not refer to any Form number, but the Clerk of the Court should have a form to send you which relates to the section which I have reprinted below. All States have something similar for situations such as yours where only one asset is involved and there are only two beneficiaries.
You will also need to ask for a Form 331 - Inventory Short Form where you will list the IRA and submit it with the Application/Petition.
The Court will then appoint you the Personal Representative of the Estate and issue "Letters of Administration" which is your authority to act on behalf of the estate and distribute the IRA funds. You do not have to submit the "Letters" because they are issued by the Court and signed by a Judge.
The "Demand for Notice" referred to in §30-2414(1)(v) should not concern you because it relates to money owed by the estate, but as you stated, you took care of that and the only outstanding tax would relate to the funds in the IRA.
30-2414.. Informal Probate, or Appointment Proceedings; Application; Contents.
Applications for informal probate or informal appointment shall be directed to the registrar and verified by the applicant to be accurate and complete to the best of his knowledge and belief as to the following information:
(1) Every application for informal probate of a will or for informal appointment of a personal representative, other than a special or successor representative, shall contain the following:
(i) a statement of the interest of the applicant;
(ii) the name and date of death of the decedent, his age, and the county and state of his domicile at the time of death, and the names and addresses of the spouse, children, heirs and devisees and the ages of any who are minors so far as known or ascertainable with reasonable diligence by the applicant;
(iii) if the decedent was not domiciled in the state at the time of his death, a statement showing venue;
(iv) a statement identifying and indicating the address of any personal representative of the decedent appointed in this state or elsewhere whose appointment has not been terminated;
(v) a statement indicating whether the applicant has received a demand for notice or is aware of any demand for notice of any probate or appointment proceeding concerning the decedent that may have been filed in this state or elsewhere.
(2) An application for informal probate of a will shall state the following in addition to the statements required by (1):
(i) that the original of the decedent's last will is in the possession of the court, or accompanies the application, or that an authenticated copy of a will probated in another jurisdiction accompanies the application;
(ii) that the applicant, to the best of his knowledge, believes the will to have been validly executed; and
(iii) that after the exercise of reasonable diligence the applicant is unaware of any instrument revoking the will, and that the applicant believes that the instrument which is the subject of the application is the decedent's last will.
(3) An application for informal appointment of a personal representative to administer an estate under a will shall describe the will by date of execution and state the time and place of probate or the pending application or petition for probate. The application for appointment shall adopt the statements in the application or petition for probate and state the name, address and priority for appointment of the person whose appointment is sought.
(4) An application for informal appointment of an administrator in intestacy shall state in addition to the statements required by
(1):(i) that after the exercise of reasonable diligence the applicant is unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property having a situs in this state under section 30-2210, or a statement why any such instrument of which he may be aware is not being probated;
(ii) the priority of the person whose appointment is sought and the names of any other persons having a prior or equal right to the appointment under section 30-2412.
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