Nebraska Estate Planning Considerations
Nebraska is a Common Law State, which means the rules governing the ownership, division, and inheritance of income and property acquired by a husband or wife during their marriage hold that subject to various qualifications, each spouse owns and has complete control of her income and property.
Last Will and Testament
The minimum age of a person competent to make a will is 18. The number of witnesses necessary to execute a will is two.
The custodial arrangement terminates when:
- The minor child reaches age 21 for custodial transfers made by irrevocable lifetime gift, will, trust, or exercise of a power of appointment.
- The minor child reaches the age of majority (generally speaking, age 19) for other custodial transfers.
- The minor child dies.
Dying without a Last Will, the Nebraska laws of Intestacy.
The estate goes to the surviving spouse, as follows:
- If there are no surviving descendants or parents, —100% of the estate
- If one or both parents survive, there are no surviving descendants—$100,000 plus 50% of the estate’s balance.
- If all descendants are also descendants of the spouse and the spouse has no other surviving descendants—$100,000 plus 50% of the estate’s balance.
- If there are surviving descendants that are not also descendants of the spouse, —50% of the estate
- If there is no surviving spouse, or if a portion of the estate does not go to the spouse:
- 100% to the descendants, equally if all of the same degrees, but if of unequal degree, those of more remote degree take by representation (see Neb. Rev. Stat. §30‐2306)
- If there is no surviving spouse or descendant:
- 100% to surviving parent or parents equally
- If there is no surviving spouse, descendant, or parent:
- 100% to descendants of parents (or descendants of either parent), by representation (see Neb. Rev. Stat. §30‐2306)
If none of the above:
- Intestacy laws outline further distribution steps to grandparents’ level, then next of kin and related individuals. See Neb. Rev. Stat. §30‐2303(4), (5). If no legally described recipient can be found, estate assets go to the state of Nebraska.
Nebraska follows the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. This act aims to ensure that testators can retain control of their digital property and plan for its ultimate disposition.
- Nebraska imposes an inheritance tax. The inheritance tax rate and exemption amount depend on the relationship between the decedent and the beneficiary.
- The surviving spouse is an exempt beneficiary; charitable and educational bequests or a bequest to a political subdivision or government agency are also exempt.
- The decedent’s parents, grandparents, siblings, children (adopted or biological), and persons that stood not less than ten years as a parent or the spouse (or surviving spouse) of any descendent as noted is a beneficiary that enjoys a $40,000 exemption and a 1% tax rate on any excess amount.
- The decedent’s aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, and persons that stood not less than ten years as the spouse of any descendent, as noted, is a beneficiary that enjoys a $15,000 exemption and a 13% tax rate on any excess amount.
- Any other person is a beneficiary that enjoys a $10,000 exemption and an 18% tax rate on any excess amount.
Credit Estate Tax
Nebraska does not impose a credit estate tax.
Nebraska does not impose a GST Tax.
Nebraska does not impose a gift tax.