Nebraska Last Will and Testament Law

Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – Nebraska

Note:    This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of wills in Nebraska, but does include basic and other provisons.  This summary does not discuss hand written wills.

Who may make a will: Any individual who is eighteen or more years of age or is not a minor and who is of sound mind may make a will and thereby dispose of personal and real property at and after death. 30-2326.

Execution: A will is required to be in writing, signed by the testator and is required to be signed by at least two individuals each of whom witnessed the signing of the will by the testator. 30-2327.

Who may witness; interested witness; intestate share:
Any individual generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will.  A will or any provision thereof is not invalid because the will is signed by an interested witness. Unless there is at least one disinterested witness to a will, an interested witness to a will is entitled to receive any property thereunder only to an amount or extent not exceeding that which is or would be the intestate share of such interested witness if the testator died intestate at the date of death.30-2330.

Self-proved will: Any will may be simultaneously executed, attested, and made self-proved by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the affidavits of the witnesses, each made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of this state or under the laws of the state where execution occurs and evidenced by the officer’s certificate, under official seal. 30-2329.

Choice of law as to execution: A  written  will  is  valid  if executed in compliance with Nebraska law, or if its execution complies with the law at the time of execution of the place where the will is executed or of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode or is a national. 30-2331.

Revocation by writing or by act: A will or any part thereof is revoked
(1)  by a subsequent will which, as is evident either from its terms or from competent evidence of its terms, revokes the prior will or part expressly or by inconsistency; or
(2)  by being burned, torn, canceled, obliterated, or destroyed, with the intent and for the purpose of revoking it by the testator or by another person in the presence of and by the direction of the testator. 30-2332.

Revocation by  divorce;  no revocation by other changes of circumstances.
If after executing a  will  the  testator  is divorced  or  his  marriage  dissolved  or annulled, the divorce, dissolution, or annulment revokes any disposition or  appointment of  property made by the will to the former spouse, any provision conferring a general or  special power of appointment on the former spouse, and any nomination of the former  spouse as executor, trustee, conservator, or guardian, unless the will expressly provides otherwise.  If provisions are revoked solely by this section, they are revived by testator’s remarriage to the  former spouse.   A decree of separation which does not terminate the status of husband and wife is not a divorce for purposes of this section. 30-2333.

Separate writing identifying bequest of tangible property. A will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money, evidences of indebtedness, documents of title, and securities, and property used in trade or business. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must have an indication of the date of the writing or signing and, in the absence of such indication of date, be the only such writing or contain no inconsistency with any other like writing or permit determination of such date of writing or signing from the contents of such writing, from extrinsic circumstances, or from any other evidence, must either be in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by him or her, and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator’s death; it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will; it may be altered by the testator after its preparation; and it may be a writing which has no significance apart from its effect upon the disposition made by the will. 30-2338.

Contracts concerning succession: A contract to make a will or devise, or not to revoke a will or devise, or  to  die  intestate,  if  executed after  January 1, 1977, can be established only by
(1) provisions of a will stating material provisions of  the  contract;
(2)  an express  reference in a will to a contract and extrinsic evidence proving the terms of the contract; or
(3) a writing signed by the decedent evidencing the contract.  The execution of a joint  will or  mutual  wills does not create a presumption of a contract not to revoke the will or wills. 30-2351.

Effect of divorce, annulment, and decree of separation: An individual who is divorced from the decedent or whose marriage to the decedent has been dissolved or annulled by a decree that has become final is not a surviving spouse unless, by virtue of a subsequent marriage, he is married to the decedent at the time of death. A decree of separation which does not terminate the status of husband and wife is not a divorce for purposes of this section.  A  surviving  spouse  does not include:

(1)an individual who obtains or consents to a final decree or judgment of divorce from the decedent or an annulment or dissolution of their marriage, which decree or judgment is not recognized as valid in this state, unless they subsequently participate in a marriage ceremony purporting to marry each to the other, or subsequently live together as man and wife;
(2) an individual who, following a decree or judgment of divorce or annulment or dissolution of marriage obtained by the decedent, participates in a marriage ceremony with a third individual; or
(3) an individual who was a party to a valid proceeding concluded by an order purporting to terminate all marital property rights against the decedent. 30-2353.

Deposit of will with court in testator’s lifetime: A will may be deposited by the testator or his agent with the court having jurisdiction of the county of his residence for safekeeping, under rules of the court. The will shall be kept confidential. During the testator’s lifetime a deposited will shall be delivered only to him or to a person authorized in writing signed by him to receive the will. A conservator or guardian may be allowed to examine a deposited will of a protected testator under procedures designed to maintain the confidential character of the will to the extent possible, and to assure that it will be resealed and left on deposit after the examination. Upon being informed of the testator’s death, the court shall notify any person designated to receive the will and deliver it to him on request; or the court may deliver the will to some other appropriate court. 30-2355.

Inside Nebraska Last Will and Testament Law