Nebraska Revised Statute 30-2429.01
Formal testacy proceedings; objection; informal probate; petition to set aside; transfer to district court; procedure; fees.
(1) If there is an objection to probate of a will or if a petition is filed to set aside an informal probate of a will or to prevent informal probate of a will which is the subject of a pending application, the county court shall continue the originally scheduled hearing for at least fourteen days from the date of the hearing. At any time prior to the continued hearing date any party may transfer the proceeding to determine whether the decedent left a valid will to the district court by filing with the county court a notice of transfer, depositing with the clerk of the county court a docket fee of the district court for cases originally commenced in district court, and paying to the clerk of the county court a fee of twenty dollars.
(2) Within ten days of the completion of the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, the clerk of the county court shall transmit to the clerk of the district court a certification of the case file and docket fee.
(3) Upon the filing of the certification as provided in subsection (2) of this section in the district court, such court shall have jurisdiction over the proceeding on the contest. Within thirty days of the filing of such certification, any party may file additional objections.
(4) The district court may order such additional pleadings as necessary and shall thereafter determine whether the decedent left a valid will. Trial shall be to a jury unless a jury is waived by all parties who have filed pleadings in the matter.
(5) The final decision and judgment in the matter transferred shall be certified to the county court, and proceedings shall be had thereon necessary to carry the final decision and judgment into execution.
The county court, and not the district court, has jurisdiction to determine whether a personal representative or nominated personal representative should be reimbursed by the estate for attorney fees incurred in a will contest that is initiated during probate proceedings in the county court but that is transferred to the district court. In re Estate of Koetter, 312 Neb. 549, 980 N.W.2d 376 (2022).
The fact that a district court has obtained, via the transfer of the will contest under subsection (3) of this section, "jurisdiction over the proceeding on the contest" does not divest the county court of its original jurisdiction in probate to protect the estate during the pendency of that will contest by considering the merits of a petition for a special administrator and request for a restraining order on the personal representative. In re Estate of Anderson, 311 Neb. 758, 974 N.W.2d 847 (2022).
A district court's jurisdiction to hear a will contest pursuant to this section is limited to determining validity. Bohling v. Bohling, 309 Neb. 625, 962 N.W.2d 224 (2021).
A request for transfer may be made at any time prior to the final scheduled continuance. In re Estate of Nuesch, 252 Neb. 610, 567 N.W.2d 113 (1997).
When a will contest is transferred pursuant to this section, the district court obtains jurisdiction over all proceedings related to the contest action. Jurisdiction remains with the district court until a final decision is reached and the case remanded to the county court. Once the contest is transferred to the district court, the county court has no authority over the matter other than to carry out the district court's final decision after remand. In re Estate of Miller, 231 Neb. 723, 437 N.W.2d 793 (1989).
An appeal from a will contest removed to a district court pursuant to this section must comply with the supersedeas bond requirement contained in section 30-1601. In re Estate of Sehi, 17 Neb. App. 697, 772 N.W.2d 103 (2009).