The loss of a spouse can be an extremely emotional time. Along with the grief you likely feel from the loss you may also be concerned about how you will survive financially after the death. Just when you think it can’t get worse, what happens if you find out that your spouse left you nothing under the terms of his/her Last Will and Testament? The good news is that you may be able to take against the Will.
Unfortunately, this scenario happens more often than you may think. Most often, it occurs because an old Will was never updated after a new marriage. Regardless of the reason, it can be frightening for the surviving spouse to realize that he or she has been left with nothing. Taking against the Will could be an option.
Taking against a Will allows a surviving spouse to elect to accept a statutory amount of money or percentage of the estate assets instead of accepting whatever was left to him or her under the terms of a decedent’s Will. Individual state law governs Will and estate matters, meaning that the state where your spouse was considered a resident at the time of death will determine whether taking against the Will is an option. It will also determine how much you may be entitled to if taking against the Will is an option. Be sure to consult with an estate planning attorney if you find yourself in this situation.