Investment Concepts, Inc.
KATIE KESSLER
Owner/President
231 E. Buffalo St.
4th Floor
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Office: 414-273-4280
Fax: 414-273-4378
kkessler@sagepointadvisor.com
www.icimke.com
 
 




Loss of a Spouse

The elective share (sometimes called the widow's election, forced election, or "taking against the will") is a statutory right of a surviving spouse to receive a specified share of the decedent's estate instead of accepting the provisions made for the spouse in the decedent's will.

 

Surviving Spouse's Elective Share

Definition

The elective share (sometimes called the widow's election, forced election, or "taking against the will") is a statutory right of a surviving spouse to receive a specified share of the decedent's estate instead of accepting the provisions made for the spouse in the decedent's will. The surviving spouse may either claim or waive the elective share. If waived, the surviving spouse can keep whatever he or she received under the will or other arrangements. The rationale behind the elective share is that it is in the public's best interest to protect surviving spouses. The elective share is determined under state law and varies from state to state.

Key strengths

  • Protects a spouse from becoming impoverished by an inadequate inheritance
  • May reduce estate or income taxes

Key tradeoffs

  • Receipt or waiver of the elective share may make an institutionalized spouse ineligible for Medicaid

How to do it

  • Election must be made in a timely fashion (varies from state to state)
  • The surviving spouse must initiate legal proceedings
  • The election is made in writing (or by petition), filed with the appropriate court, and served on the estate's personal representative
  • After notice and hearing, the court orders the beneficiaries and/or the estate's personal representative to contribute a pro rata share of the estate's assets to satisfy the surviving spouse's elective share

Tax consequences

  • In separate property states, amounts received by the surviving spouse pursuant to a spousal election qualify for the unlimited marital deduction
  • In community property states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin) and Puerto Rico (Alaska has an optional system), the surviving spouse generally has no right to an elective share because the surviving spouse already owns half of all community property


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES
Securities and advisory services offered through SagePoint Financial, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Investment Concepts, Inc. which is not affiliated with SagePoint Financial, Inc. or registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor.

Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.



Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2019.