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What Is a Spousal right? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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The entitlement of one spouse to inherit property from the other spouse. The right varies from state to state.

It’s important to understand if the state has community property

When it comes to property ownership it’s important to know the laws of the state when it comes to spousal rights. This means that all income or assets acquired throughout your marriage are automatically shared by both partners equally. If one spouse passes away and does not leave behind any will or trust provisions for their inheritance, then the surviving partner has an option to receive up to half of what was leftover as separate property from them.

States that have advantageous spousal rights

Some states have advantageous spousal rights. Surviving spouses are protected in the state of California by it’s probate code.

What does a spousal right do?

The spousal right allows spouses to inherit property that they are both the beneficiary on as well as community property.

Ommited spouses an spousal rights

The Probate Code of some states protect omitted spouses by allowing them to take the statutory share of the estate as discussed above, unless:

  • The estate plan specifically disinherited the spouse, or
  • The spouse received sufficient assets outside the estate, or
  • The spouse executed a valid waiver (either by premarital agreement or other legally enforceable document or contract)

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