Omitted from Your Spouse’s Will?
Learn More About Spousal Rights and California Probate Law
When a loved one dies, the surviving spouse often finds him or herself overwhelmed with handling the financial matters of the late husband or wife’s estate. However, in some cases they may also find themselves unlawfully denied the rightful portion of their spouses’ estates due to an outdated will or contested claims. Except in very limited circumstances, the law grants you spousal rights and a claim to your deceased spouse’s estate.
The Law Protects Omitted Spouses
Section 21610 of the California Probate Code describes how an omitted spouse has a right to receive a share of their deceased spouse’s estate. The law states:
“If a decedent fails to provide in a testamentary instrument for the
decedent’s surviving spouse…the omitted spouse shall receive a
share in the decedent’s estate.”
This section also entitles omitted spouses to receive up to the following:
- One-half of community property, which includes earned wages property acquired during the marriage,
- One-half of separate property, such as things your spouse acquired to marriage or inherited,
- One-third to one-half of any funds or assets included in a will or trust.
Any children from a prior relationship will alter a person’s spousal rights and the amount of property available, as will claims by creditors and taxes. These can be complex calculations. If you have any doubts, then contact qualified probate attorneys to protect your spousal rights and uphold them in a contested probate.
What Can I Do If I Am Not Named in My Spouse’s Will or Estate?
A San Francisco probate litigation lawyer will know how to take legal action to ensure that you receive the assets and funds that the law guarantees you. It is vital to have a dedicated and experienced attorney representing your interests and claims on an estate.
In some cases, spouses are beneficiaries in the will. However, they are left less money or property than the law requires. If you believe this is the case, a probate litigation attorney can review the estate with you. He or she can then calculate your fair share under California probate law. Legal action can help you make up the difference between what you received and what you are entitled.
Speak with a Bay Area Probate Litigation Lawyer About Your Rights
If you were omitted from your spouse’s estate, or if you believe the estate of your deceased spouse unfairly denied you proceeds of your loved one’s finances and assets, then contact the Triay Law Office today. Probate litigation lawyer Charles Triay focuses his law practice in contested wills and trusts. For over 30 years, he has helped clients secure what is rightfully theirs by law.