In re Estate of Leonard John Sedlacek, deceased.
Valley County, Nebraska, appellant. James Psota, Personal Representative of the Estate of Leonard John Sedlacek, deceased, appellee,
Decedents' Estates: Taxation: Appeal and
Error. On appeal of an inheritance tax
determination, an appellate court reviews the case for error
appearing on the record.
Judgments: Appeal and Error. When reviewing
a judgment for errors appearing on the record, the inquiry is
whether the decision conforms to the law, is supported by
competent evidence, and is neither arbitrary, capricious, nor
Decedents' Estates: Parent and Child: Taxation:
Appeal and Error. Factual findings necessary in
determining whether the requisite acknowledged parent-child
relationship of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-2004 (Reissue 2018)
exists should be reviewed for sufficient evidence and should
not be disturbed on appeal unless clearly wrong.
Decedents' Estates: Taxation: Statutes:
Proof. Statutes exempting property from inheritance
tax should be strictly construed, and the burden is on the
taxpayer to show that he or she clearly falls within the
language of the statute.
Decedents' Estates: Parent and Child:
Taxation. The following factors serve as appropriate
guideposts to the trial court in making a determination of an
acknowledged relationship of a parent under Neb. Rev. Stat.
§ 77-2004 (Reissue 2018): (1) reception of the child
into the home and treatment of the child as a member of the
family, (2) assumption of the responsibility for support
beyond occasional gifts and financial aid, (3) exercise of
parental authority and discipline, (4) relationship by blood
or marriage, (5) advice and guidance to the child, (6)
sharing of time and affection, and (7) existence of written
documentation [27 Neb.App. 391] evincing the decedent's
intent to act as a parent. This list of guideposts is not
exhaustive, nor will every factor necessarily be present in
each case. A trial court should consider all pertinent
factors in arriving at that determination.
. The law recognizes that although a natural parent-child
relationship may exist elsewhere, if the parties regard each
other in all of the usual incidents and relationships of
family life as parent and child, the benefits of the
inheritance tax statute flow.
from the County Court for Valley County: Tami K. Schendt,
Brandon B. Hanson for appellant.
L. Tobey, of Peterson Legal Services, PC, L.L.O.. for
and Bishop, Judges.
County (County) appeals from an order entered in the county
court for Valley County finding that Leonard John Sedlacek
stood in place of a parent for James Psota and that thus,
Psota was entitled to a "Class 1" inheritance tax
rate for property inherited from Sedlacek's estate. The
County argues that there was not sufficient evidence of a
parent-child relationship between Psota and Sedlacek and that