Nebraska Revised Statute 40-115

Revised Statutes » Chapter 40 » 40-115
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40-115. Head of family, defined.

The phrase head of a family, as used in sections 40-101 to 40-116, includes within its meanings every person who has residing on the premises with him or her and under his or her care and maintenance:

(1) His or her minor child or the minor child of his or her deceased wife or husband;

(2) A minor brother or sister or the minor child of a deceased brother or sister;

(3) A father, mother, grandfather, or grandmother;

(4) The father, mother, grandfather, or grandmother of a deceased husband or wife;

(5) An unmarried sister, brother, or any other of the relatives mentioned in this section who have attained the age of majority and are unable to take care of or support themselves; or

(6) A surviving spouse who resides in property which would have qualified for a homestead exemption if the deceased spouse were still alive and married to the surviving spouse.


    Laws 1879, § 15, p. 60;
    R.S.1913, § 3090;
    C.S.1922, § 2830;
    C.S.1929, § 40-115;
    R.S.1943, § 40-115;
    Laws 1979, LB 80, § 103;
    Laws 1994, LB 760, § 1.


Definition of head of the family in this section is restricted to sections 40-101 to 40-117. Grassman v. Jensen, 183 Neb. 147, 158 N.W.2d 673 (1968).

Where husband and wife reside upon homestead selected from separate property of husband, and wife dies, and the husband continues to reside thereon until his death, the homestead character of the land continues in the surviving husband, although he may have no children or dependents residing with him. United States Nat. Bank of Omaha v. Simonds, 133 Neb. 42, 274 N.W. 187 (1937).

Widow, not head of family, with life estate as surviving spouse as well as fee title to land occupied as homestead, may execute valid instrument creating equitable mortgage without acknowledgment. Miles v. Martin, 103 Neb. 261, 171 N.W. 907 (1919).

Children of deceased sister-in-law are members of family within meaning of this section. Doman v. Fenton, 96 Neb. 94, 147 N.W. 209 (1914).

In order to be head of family, claimant must be married or have a dependent residing on premises. Brusha v. Phipps, 86 Neb. 822, 126 N.W. 856 (1910).

Once acquired, the homestead character continues so long as residence is on the premises. Palmer v. Sawyer, 74 Neb. 108, 103 N.W. 1088 (1905); First Nat. Bank of Greenwood v. Reece, 64 Neb. 292, 89 N.W. 804 (1902).

In order to claim exemption on account of dependency, there must be an actual and necessary dependency by reason of the inability of dependent to support self. Hyde v. Hyde, 60 Neb. 502, 83 N.W. 673 (1900).