Nebraska Revised Statute 30-2476
Transactions authorized for personal representatives; exceptions.
Except as restricted or otherwise provided by the will or by an order in a formal proceeding, without limiting the authority conferred by section 30-2472, and subject to the priorities stated in section 30-24,100, a personal representative, acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly:
(1) retain assets owned by the decedent pending distribution or liquidation including those in which the representative is personally interested or which are otherwise improper for trust investment;
(2) receive assets from fiduciaries or other sources;
(3) perform, compromise, or refuse performance of the decedent's contracts that continue as obligations of the estate, as he or she may determine under the circumstances. In performing enforceable contracts by the decedent to convey or lease land, the personal representative, among other possible courses of action, may:
(i) execute and deliver a deed of conveyance for cash payment of all sums remaining due or the purchaser's note for the sum remaining due secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on the land; or
(ii) deliver a deed in escrow with directions that the proceeds, when paid in accordance with the escrow agreement, be paid to the successors of the decedent, as designated in the escrow agreement;
(4) satisfy written charitable pledges of the decedent irrespective of whether the pledges constituted binding obligations of the decedent or were properly presented as claims, if in the judgment of the personal representative the decedent would have wanted the pledges completed under the circumstances;
(5) if funds are not needed to meet debts and expenses currently payable and are not immediately distributable, deposit or invest liquid assets of the estate, including money received from the sale of other assets, in federally insured interest-bearing accounts, readily marketable secured loan arrangements, or other prudent investments which would be reasonable for use by trustees generally;
(6) acquire or dispose of an asset, including land in this or another state, for cash or on credit, at public or private sale; and manage, develop, improve, exchange, partition, change the character of, or abandon an estate asset;
(7) make ordinary or extraordinary repairs or alterations in buildings or other structures, demolish any improvements, and raze existing or erect new party walls or buildings;
(8) subdivide, develop, or dedicate land to public use; make or obtain the vacation of plats and adjust boundaries; or adjust differences in valuation on exchange or partition by giving or receiving considerations; or dedicate easements to public use without consideration;
(9) enter for any purpose into a lease as lessor or lessee, with or without option to purchase or renew, for a term within or extending beyond the period of administration;
(10) enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement;
(11) abandon property when, in the opinion of the personal representative, it is valueless, or is so encumbered, or is in condition that it is of no benefit to the estate;
(12) vote stocks or other securities in person or by general or limited proxy;
(13) pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against or on account of securities, unless barred by the provisions relating to claims;
(14) hold a security in the name of a nominee or in other form without disclosure of the interest of the estate but the personal representative is liable for any act of the nominee in connection with the security so held;
(15) insure the assets of the estate against damage, loss, and liability and himself or herself against liability as to third persons;
(16) borrow money with or without security to be repaid from the estate assets or otherwise; and advance money for the protection of the estate;
(17) effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor, or extend, renew, or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate. If the personal representative holds a mortgage, pledge, or other lien upon property of another person, he or she may, in lieu of foreclosure, accept a conveyance or transfer of encumbered assets from the owner thereof in satisfaction of the indebtedness secured by lien;
(18) pay taxes, assessments, compensation of the personal representative, and other expenses incident to the administration of the estate;
(19) sell or exercise stock subscription or conversion rights; consent, directly or through a committee or other agent, to the reorganization, consolidation, merger, dissolution, or liquidation of a corporation or other business enterprise;
(20) allocate items of income or expense to either estate income or principal, as permitted or provided by law;
(21) employ persons, including attorneys, auditors, investment advisors, or agents, even if they are associated with the personal representative, to advise or assist the personal representative in the performance of his or her administrative duties; act without independent investigation upon their recommendations; and instead of acting personally, employ one or more agents to perform any act of administration, whether or not discretionary;
(22) prosecute or defend claims or proceedings in any jurisdiction for the protection of the estate and of the personal representative in the performance of his or her duties;
(23) sell, mortgage, or lease any real or personal property of the estate or any interest therein for cash, for credit, or for part cash and part credit, and with or without security for unpaid balances;
(24) continue any unincorporated business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death;
(25) form a business entity that has limited liability, including a limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or corporation, for any business or venture in which the decedent was engaged at the time of death;
(26) provide for exoneration of the personal representative from personal liability in any contract entered into on behalf of the estate;
(27) satisfy and settle claims and distribute the estate as provided in the Nebraska Probate Code.
- Laws 1974, LB 354, § 154, UPC § 3-715;
- Laws 1978, LB 650, § 17;
- Laws 1993, LB 315, § 1;
- Laws 2010, LB758, § 3.
Under the Nebraska Probate Code, the right and duty to sue and recover assets for an estate reside in the estate's appointed personal representative, not the devisees. In re Estate of Hedke, 278 Neb. 727, 775 N.W.2d 13 (2009).
Pursuant to subsections (18) and (21) of this section, failure to inform court of attorney fee payments did not violate this particular supervised administration because such fees were not "distributions." In re Estate of Snover, 233 Neb. 198, 443 N.W.2d 894 (1989).
The covenant of a personal representative's deed of lawful power and authority to convey real property is not a warranty of title and contains no implication of a covenant warranting titles. Ihde v. Kempkes, 228 Neb. 433, 422 N.W.2d 788 (1988).
A personal representative, under both the old and new probate code, has the authority to settle claims in favor of the estate against third parties. Brown v. Sherwood, 203 Neb. 209, 278 N.W.2d 565 (1979).
Under prior law the personal representative of a deceased person acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons may sell any real property of the estate following a court order with notice given in the manner prescribed by section 30-2220. Booth v. Reisdorff, 202 Neb. 7, 272 N.W.2d 915 (1978).
Generally, a beneficiary has no standing to prosecute a claim for the protection of the estate under subsection (22) of this section. Hampshire v. Powell, 10 Neb. App. 148, 626 N.W.2d 620 (2001).
Unless restricted by the provisions of a will or by an order of court in a formal proceeding, a personal representative is authorized to employ persons, including attorneys, to advise or assist in the performance of administrative duties. When a personal representative employs an attorney to advise or assist in the performance of administrative duties, the attorney serves as an attorney for the personal representative, and the attorney owes no duty of care to the estate or to the beneficiaries; the personal representative, not the estate, is the attorney's client. In re Estate of Snover, 4 Neb. App. 533, 546 N.W.2d 341 (1996).