The spouse would like to leave all assets, tangible items, and insurance payouts to the children only.
There is no requirement that a spouse leave assets to the other spouse in a revocable trust or a will. However, most states have statutes which allow the disinherited spouse to make an election against the decedent’s estate to claim a spousal share. In Massachusetts, we have a case on point where assets in a revocable trust will also be included. The spousal share varies in amount among the states, so it will depend on the state where your mother is a resident at her death. Also, this is an affirmative election the spouse has to make. It is not simply given to him.
One option your mother might discuss with her husband is a post-nuptial agreement. Your mother’s estate planning attorney will be able to walk her through her options.
Margaret L. Cross-Beliveau, Esq., LL.M.
LegalDisclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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The attorneys at The Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for estate planning (wills and trusts), Medicaid (planning and applications), probate (estate and trust administration), business law (formation and operation), real estate (residential and commercial), taxation (federal and state), and civil litigation (in connection with these practice areas). The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida, Waltham, Massachusetts, and Salem, New Hampshire.