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What if my loved one has died without a will?

If death occurs without a will, Nebraska intestate succession laws will determine who inherits the property. Property is distributed based on how the Legislature expects that individuals will want it done, designating a spouse, children, and other family members as beneficiaries. Unfortunately, leaving distribution up to the state can be impersonal, distributing assets mechanically and not in accord with your wishes.

Generally your spouse is entitled to the first cut of your estate; the remaining heirs receive the remainder not inherited by your spouse. The amount received by your spouse will depend on which members of your family survive you. If you have no issue (children or grandchildren) or living parents, your spouse will receive the entire estate. If you have children with your spouse, or if you are survived by a parent, your spouse will receive the first $100,000 plus 1/2 of the balance, or if you have surviving issue that are not issue of the surviving spouse, your spouse receives 1/2 of the estate and your issue the other half. If if your issue or parents do not survive you, then your siblings or their children. If there are no other relatives – then the state of Nebraska takes your estate (called escheat).