Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, September 16, 2020


Copyright 2020 University of Nebraska.


The main goal of many parents when writing their estate plan is for their children to continue to be a family. With this goal in mind, parents make many assumptions to “keep the peace” when planning their estate. If the family has a key fight then family activities, like holiday gatherings, no longer happen. Let’s look at these assumptions and make some observations about each. The overall goal is to think through our actions with the intent that the family stays together.

Without an estate plan, the assets are divided ac-cording to the laws of the state of Nebraska. That means that you die intestate. Intestate laws provide a hierarchy of who receives your assets (after all debts and taxes are paid) based on their relationship to you. For some, dividing your assets according to intestate laws may be perfectly fine. But for those who have several heirs, these allocations can be complicated. Be aware of the oddities of dying intestate. Read more here: