The will of Beverly Freiden stated that real property at 18th and Jackson Street in Omaha “may either be sold or retained by my personal representatives as they shall determine.”
The estate was informally closed in the probate court and no Personal Representative’s deed was issued. Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 30-24,104(a) states that “unless a contrary intention is indicated by will, the distributable assets of a decedent’s estate’s shall be distributed in kind to the extent possible.”
The Nebraska Supreme Court held that the real estate remained in the estate of Beverly Freiden. Normally a deed is required to convey real estate, but the absence of deed doesn’t invalidate instruments in a probate proceeding.
Lesson: If you want real property to be conveyed in kind at death and not sold, write it in your will or revocable living trust.
Source: Arnold v. Walz, 306 Neb. 179 (June 19, 2020).