In re Estate of Dorothy Pluhacek, also known as Mary Pluhacek, also known as Sr. M. Dorothy de N.D., deceased.
Estate of Dorothy Pluhacek, also known as Mary Pluhacek, also known as Sr. M. Dorothy de N.D., DECEASED, APPELLEE. Margaret Hickey, appellant,
Decedents' Estates: Appeal and Error. An
appellate court reviews probate cases for error appearing on
the record made in the county court.
Decedents' Estates: Judgments: Appeal and
Error. When reviewing questions of law in a probate
matter, an appellate court reaches a conclusion independent
of the determination reached by the court below.
Decedents' Estates: Wills: Intent:
Proof. A document purporting to be a will, which is
otherwise sufficient, will satisfy the "writing"
requirement of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-2327 (Reissue 2016),
whether it is completely handwritten; partly written in ink
and partly in pencil; partly typewritten and partly printed;
partly printed, partly typewritten, and partly written; or on
a printed form, as well as other combinations of these forms
and comparable permanent techniques of writing which
substantively evidence testamentary intent.
from the County Court for Douglas County: Thomas K. Harmon,
Judge. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
J. Placek, of Sidner Law, for appellant.
appearance for appellee.
Neb. 529] Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel,
Stacy. Kelch, and Funke, JJ.
Hickey, the current Provincial Superioress of the Omaha
province of the Notre Dame Sisters, appeals the decision of
the Douglas County Court which denied formal probate of a
document that Hickey purported to be the valid will of
Dorothy Pluhacek, also known as Mary Pluhacek, also known as
Sr. M. Dorothy de N.D. The court concluded that the document
was not a valid will under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-2327
(Reissue 2016) because portions of the document were
handwritten and further concluded that the document was not
admissible as a holographic will under Neb. Rev. Stat. §
30-2328 (Reissue 2016). Because we conclude that the document
is a properly executed will under § 30-2327, we reverse
the order of the county court and remand the cause for formal
died on July 1, 2015, at 100 years of age. Thereafter, Hickey
filed an application for informal probate of the will and
informal appointment of a personal representative in the
Douglas County Court. Hickey sought appointment as personal
representative on the basis that she was the current
Provincial Superioress of the Omaha province of the Notre
Dame Sisters, and the document she submitted for probate
named the holder of that title as executor.
document Hickey purported to be Pluhacek's will
accompanied the application. The document contained certain
preprinted terms, typewritten material, and blanks that were
completed in handwriting. The content of the document is set
forth below. The portions that were handwritten in the
document are indicated by italics below. The portion that is
underlined below was not underlined in the document but was
in a [296 Neb. 530] different typeset than the preprinted
portions of the document. The document stated as follows:
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
IN THE NAME OF GOD. ...