What if I don’t like my Spouse’s Will or Trust?
Unless there is a Pre- or Post-Nuptial Agreement or other document which controls rights of spouses at death, a surviving spouse does not have to accept the terms of the Will or Trust established by the deceased spouse, and take an “Elective Share”.
The decision to take the “Elective Share” must be made within 6 months after the date of service of a copy of the notice of administration on the surviving spouse. The rules relating to the elective share are very technical, and valuable rights depend on the timing of these decisions, so we encourage you to promptly contact independent counsel — “independent counsel” would probably be someone other than the attorney who prepared the documents, and other than the attorney who is handling the probate of the estate. Also be careful what you sign so that you do not mistakenly waive these rights.
A new Florida Statute also gives the surviving spouse options regarding previous law that required a spouse to accept a life estate in his or her deceased spouse’s homestead.
Call us today if you have been “disappointed” in the provisions of your spouse’s will or trust.