Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Nebraska Supreme Court Construes Will: Intent To Disinherit Heir Must Be Express Or Necessarily Implied In Will

Estate planningIn In re Estate of Brinkman, "the Nebraska Supreme Court construed the terms of a will to determine that s decedent did not intend to disinherit his daughter under the terms of the will." 

Michael Brinkman died in 2016 survived by two children, Nicole and Seth. Kimberly Milius was named as personal representative. Kimberly is Seth's mother but not Nicole's. Nicole believed that she was entitled to an undivided one-half interest in Michael's estate, despite the fact that Kimberly is not her mother. Kimberly and Seth alleged that it was Michael's intent to disinherit Nicole. 

Since Nicole's name is not mentioned in then will, she filed a motion to construe the will under Nebraska law, "contending that an ambiguity existed in the term 'issue.'" Nicole argued that the term 'issue' was meant to refer to both her and Seth.

The Nebraska county court found that the will was ambiguous on whether Michael intended to disinherit Nicole and found that the language of the will did not disinherit her. 

The Nebraska Supreme Court found that the decedent (Michael) did not intend to disinherit his daughter. 

See Nebraska Supreme Court Construes Will: Intent To Disinherit Heir Must Be Express Or Necessarily Implied In Will, Probate Stars, January 18, 2020. 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2021/01/nebraska-supreme-court-construes-will-intent-to-disinherit-heir-must-be-express-or-necessarily-impli.html

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