Nebraska Revised Statute 76-402

Chapter 76


Aliens and foreign corporations; real estate; ownership prohibited.

Aliens and corporations not incorporated under the laws of the State of Nebraska are prohibited from acquiring title to or taking or holding any land, or real estate, or any leasehold interest extending for a period for more than five years or any other greater interest less than fee in any land, or real estate in this state by descent, devise, purchase or otherwise, except as provided in sections 76-403 to 76-405.


  • Laws 1889, c. 58, § 1, p. 483;
  • R.S.1913, § 6273;
  • Laws 1921, c. 142, § 1, p. 608;
  • C.S.1922, § 5687;
  • C.S.1929, § 76-502;
  • Laws 1939, c. 97, § 1, p. 417;
  • C.S.Supp.,1941, § 76-502;
  • R.S.1943, § 76-402.


  • 1. Aliens

  • 2. Foreign corporations

  • 3. Effect of treaty

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • 1. Aliens

  • Prior to 1963, when the method by which nonresident aliens may take land by inheritance was provided, nonresident aliens could not inherit lands in Nebraska but were to be paid the full value therefor by the state. Shames v. State, 192 Neb. 614, 223 N.W.2d 481 (1974).

  • An alien heir who cannot take by purchase cannot take by descent or devise. Semrad v. Semrad, 170 Neb. 911, 104 N.W.2d 338 (1960).

  • Religious or charitable testamentary trust will not be permitted to fail because trustee named is incompetent to take title, being a nonresident corporation, but competent trustee will be appointed. Stork v. Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 129 Neb. 311, 261 N.W. 552 (1935).

  • Legislature has placed restrictions on the right of nonresident aliens to acquire or hold title to land in this state. Engen v. Union State Bank of Harvard, 121 Neb. 257, 236 N.W. 741 (1931).

  • This section did not operate to prevent inheritance by wife and child of citizen of United States temporarily residing abroad. Nelson v. Nelson, 113 Neb. 453, 203 N.W. 640 (1925).

  • Land devised to nonresident aliens incapable of acquiring interest therein must be regarded as intestate property and descends as provided by law, to next of kin who are capable of taking. Metzger v. Metzger, 108 Neb. 613, 188 N.W. 229 (1922); State v. Toop, 107 Neb. 391, 186 N.W. 371 (1922), which overrules decision in State ex rel. Toop v. Thomas, 103 Neb. 147, 170 N.W. 839 (1919), so far as it conflicts with said case.

  • Provision giving wife and heirs of aliens a right to hold lands by devise or descent for limited period does not apply where deceased landlord was a citizen of United States. State v. Toop, 107 Neb. 391, 186 N.W. 371 (1922).

  • Statute was sustained as constitutional. Dougherty v. Kubat, 67 Neb. 269, 93 N.W. 317 (1903); Glynn v. Glynn, 62 Neb. 872, 87 N.W. 1052 (1901).

  • Statute forbidding ownership by nonresident alien is not repugnant to 14th amendment to federal Constitution, and treaty is not retroactive. Toop v. Ulysses Land Company, 237 U.S. 580 (1915).

  • The provision that no nonresident alien can inherit Nebraska land more than three miles from corporate limits of any city or town does not constitute an impermissible interference with federal power over foreign affairs. Shames v. State of Nebraska, 323 F.Supp. 1321 (D. Neb. 1971).

  • 2. Foreign corporations

  • Foreign corporation was not prohibited from acquiring interest in real estate in manner set out. In re Estate of Sautter, 142 Neb. 42, 5 N.W.2d 263 (1942).

  • Fact that American Red Cross is a foreign corporation does not preclude it from becoming beneficiary under will providing for sale of land on death of life tenant and payment of proceeds to the Red Cross. May v. American Red Cross, 140 Neb. 43, 299 N.W. 272 (1941).

  • Public policy of Nebraska is against acquisition of title to real estate by foreign corporation, whether charitable or educational, and a devise of real estate to such corporation is subject to inheritance tax. In re Estate of Robinson, 138 Neb. 101, 292 N.W. 48 (1940).

  • Title of foreign corporation to land taken in settlement of debt, secured by mortgage on part of land, can be challenged only by state. Lord v. Shultz, 115 Neb. 33, 211 N.W. 210 (1926).

  • Foreign corporations are prohibited from taking or holding lands in this state in trust for the use and benefit of another, and power to raise the question of right to take the property is not confined to state, but may be raised by the heir or next of kin in an action to quiet title. Gould v. Board of Home Missions, 102 Neb. 526, 167 N.W. 776 (1918).

  • Under prior statute state alone could divest foreign corporations of title. Carlow v. Aultman & Co., 28 Neb. 672, 44 N.W. 873 (1890).

  • 3. Effect of treaty

  • Nonresident aliens had right under treaty to inherit real estate situated in United States in accordance with state law, and treaty right was not abrogated by state of war. Goos v. Brocks, 117 Neb. 750, 223 N.W. 13 (1929).

  • Under treaty with Austria-Hungary, nonresident alien was entitled to reasonable prolongation of time prescribed in treaty to sell real estate. Fischer v. Sklenar, 101 Neb. 553, 163 N.W. 861 (1917).

  • Where treaty suspended operation of statute and allowed alien heirs a prescribed period in which to sell land, failure of heirs to sell within prescribed time vests title in those to whom land would have descended in absence of treaty. Pierson v. Lawler, 100 Neb. 783, 161 N.W. 419 (1917).

  • Title to land passed to citizen heirs, where alien heirs failed to exercise power of sale under statute as permitted by German treaty. Miller v. Clausen, 299 F. 723 (8th Cir. 1924).

  • 4. Miscellaneous

  • Escheat must be established and payment made as provided in section 76-408, and under certain circumstances, section 76-409. Wilson v. State, 195 Neb. 228, 237 N.W.2d 835 (1976).