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In re Estate of Evans
Nebraska Court of Appeals
827 N.W.2d 314 (2013)
Donald Evans died intestate with no surviving spouse and with all three of his sons already deceased. Only two of the three deceased sons had any children. Donald’s son Stewart had two daughters, Mary (defendant) and Susan. Donald’s son Frederick had one son, Ted (plaintiff). All three of Donald’s grandchildren were alive at his death. The Nebraska intestate-succession statute stated that if Donald did not have a living spouse or children, the estate’s division depended on whether Donald’s parents had any living issue, i.e., biological descendants. If Donald’s parents had living descendants, the estate should be divided among those descendants by representation, i.e., using a modified per stirpes method of distribution. If Donald’s parents did not have any living descendants, the estate should be divided equally among Donald’s living relatives. The trial court found that Donald’s parents did not have any living issue and divided the estate equally among all three living relatives: Mary, Susan, and Ted. Ted appealed, arguing that the estate should have been divided using the strict per stirpes method, which would give Ted one-half of the estate and Mary and Susan each one-quarter.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sievers, J.)
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