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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
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I am trustee of mothers living trust which named my brother

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I am trustee of mothers living trust which named my brother and myself as beneficiaries, but for some reason she filed initial application to start IRA acct. (some 20 plus yrs ago) designating the "estate" as beneficiary. All other assets are in trust but I understand we have to go through probate for the $165K IRA money. I want to do it pro se and need to know how I initiate the process, what forms are required, etc. I have cleared all debts and other obligations through the trust. Nothing is outstanding except the tax obligation on the IRA. Please tell me what forms and other docs I will need in hand in order to make this thing go as smoothly and quickly as it can considering I'm dealing with bureaucracy at its finest! I will be filing in Sarpy County, Nebraska. Please help me get this thing started so I can gather everything I need, and maybe get on with my life! I appreciate this service you offer. Thanks. Debi Semke

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Q. Is your mother deceased ?




Thank you,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes. she died 5/11/ 2013

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes. I have filled this out 3 times. Not your fault, but frustrating at any rate.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How much longer will it be before I get some information from you? You have my $60 already. Please get back to me. Other considerations are making it urgent for me to get this probate issue started.

thank you. Debi /semke

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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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I called the clerk of court for forms and was told they don't have any, that even lawyers either buy kits or go to Creighton Law Library and search for the info they need. You gave me the contents info, but there has to be a better way than the library to find format info and I am not confident that whatever I would buy would be correct for NE. I need a format or copy of doc that I could use to make sure I did it correctly. Same for Inventory form. Do you have any attorneys that are licensed to practice in NE that could provide me with the forms I need, Having just spent $60, I really need a bit of pro bono assistance. It shouldn't be so complicated. Well, that was a stupid comment! $200 an hour attorney fees have to be justified and I have no problem with that. My problem is that I have very little money and until I get this thru probate I don't have access to much. I just need samples to follow if I can't get forms. Can you help with that?

We do not have forms here, otherwise I would have been glad to give them to you. Let me see if I can find any site that sells them. Many times the forms have to be tailored to one's needs by "xing" out what is not needed and typing in one's specific requests to the Court because forms for every situation are just not available, that is why many lawyers draft their own and do not rely on the standard forms. I am really surprised that the Court Clerk does not have even the standard form that you can tailor to your needs.


Please give me a few minutes and I will be right back with anything I find,



I just found this site where you can download Probate Form 331, Inventory Short Form:



You will also need Form 223 - Notice of Informal Probate and Appointment of Personal Representative Without Notice of Creditors




I do not know if there is a charge for the above forms because when I searched before, I was sure I searched everywhere for "Nebraska Probate Forms" and found nothing and that is why I told you that the Clerk of the Court should have these forms.