Glastonbury probate attorneys can offer assistance during the probate process to those who need to protect an inheritance. An experienced attorney at Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates will not only provide representation to the executor of an estate who has many important duties to fulfill, but can also help those who stand to inherit money from the person who has passed away, or the decedent as the deceased person is often called.
In the vast majority of cases, when the decedent has left a last will and testament, the terms of that will are controlling unless the will is successfully contested. In other words, if there is no problem with a last will and testament that was left by the deceased, the terms of the will dictate who inherits the money and property once creditors have had their claims on the estate satisfied.
Sometimes, however, a last will and testament will attempt to disinherit a spouse. This could occur when a person who passes away leaves all of his or her money and property to someone other than a surviving husband and wife. If this happens, the spouse does not necessarily have to just accept that he has been disinherited. A spouse could exercise a spousal elective share.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide guidance on what a spousal elective share is during the estate planning process so you can understand what your spouse’s rights are to make a claim on your estate. Our legal team can also provide guidance on the spousal elective share during the probate process when decisions are being made on an inheritance. To find out more about how our firm can assist you with issues related to disinheriting a spouse or claiming your inheritance from a spouse, give us a call today.
What is a Spousal Elective Share?
The Connecticut Judicial Branch, Superior Court Operations, has prepared a guide to the Rights of Surviving Spouses in Connecticut. This guide contains details on all aspects of Connecticut’s probate laws addressing what a person is entitled to under the law when his or her spouse passes away.
One of the rights that a surviving spouse has is called the right of election. The right of election means that the surviving spouse has the option to take a “statutory share” of property that passes under the will of the decedent. In plain language, this means that if your husband or wife passes away, you can decide that you want to take a designated portion of his estate that Connecticut’s statute allows you to take– rather than the amount of money and property that was actually left to you in the will.
If your spouse leaves you more money than you would be entitled to under Connecticut’s spousal elective share, you don’t have to worry about this law and you can just inherit the assets that were allocated to you in the will. However, if your husband or wife leaves you nothing in his will or leaves you a very small inheritance while providing the bulk of his or her assets to someone else, then you do not just have to accept being disinherited. Instead, you can exercise your right of election. You’ll take the elective share, or the share of the estate that Connecticut’s statute says you’re allowed to take.
Getting Help from Glastonbury Probate Attorneys
Connecticut’s laws giving a spouse an elective share mean that you cannot just disinherit your spouse by writing a will and leaving all of your money or property to someone else. If you want to make sure that someone else inherits all of your assets – such as kids from a prior marriage – you’ll need to work with an estate planning lawyer to determine an appropriate method of transferring your wealth so you won’t take the risk of your spouse exercising his or her right of election when you have passed away and can no longer do anything to control your legacy.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates has helped many individuals make an estate plan that allows them to leave their property to their desired heirs or beneficiaries without worrying about their spouse exercising an elective share. Our legal team has also helped many spouses during the probate process to exercise their right of election to obtain a fair inheritance.
To find out more about the spousal elective share or about how our legal team can help you to use the right legal tools to control what happens to your wealth after your death, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to get personalized advice on all of your estate planning goals.