Protecting Your Rights Regarding Your Spouse's Estate

In New York, a surviving spouse has a right to a statutory share of the deceased spouse's estate. This is true even if the decedent did not leave any assets to his or her spouse in the will.

Spousal rights of election can be challenging cases. It is best to work with a lawyer to ensure that your interests are protected. At the law office of Albert F. Pennisi, P.C., I represent spouses who need help getting their share of their deceased spouse's estate. With more than 45 years of experience in estate, trust and probate law, I know how to prevent spousal disinheritance.

Your Rights Regarding Your Spouse's Estate

Too often, people are unaware of their rights as a surviving spouse. To protect your rights, you need to work with an experienced probate litigation attorney. I will review your case and determine which assets you are entitled to in the right of elective share. If another party disputes your rights, I will represent you in negotiations or at trial.

A spousal right of election must usually be filed within six months of the date the executor received letters of testamentary. Typically, you cannot file a right of election later than two years after the deceased spouse's death. You may be entitled to $50,000 or one-third of the net estate, whichever is greater.

In some cases, the surviving spouse signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that is not valid. The deceased spouse may not have disclosed all of his or her assets when the agreement was drafted. The surviving spouse may not have had independent counsel when reviewing and signing the agreement. These types of errors or fraud can invalidate the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. I will determine whether this is applicable in your case.

Contact Me To Discuss Your Case

I maintain full-service offices in both Queens and Nassau County for my clients' convenience. For a free, 30-minute consultation, please call 718-509-6344 or contact me online.