Nebraska Procedure: Estate of Donna Mae Hansen v. Donald L. Bergmeier

Issue: Whether service upon discharged personal representative of closed estate was timely and proper in negligence action against estate’s decedent.

Facts: Plaintiff filed suit against discharged personal representative of closed estate arising out of January 9, 2006, motor vehicle accident. No errors concerning closing of the estate were alleged. Plaintiff claimed it only sought available liability insurance coverage. District court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment arguing Plaintiff’s claim was time barred.

Holding: A closed estate, with a discharged personal representative, must be reopened and a personal representative appointed (or reappointed) before suit can be filed, even when the claimant is only seeking liability insurance proceeds. Estate was not reopened within applicable limitations period, thus district court dismissal affirmed.

For a complete copy of the Court’s opinion, click here