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Elective Share, Continued

Welcome back. We are here with more information about elective share and the revised statutes that should be followed. If you have questions, contact our estate lawyers in Cary NC.

Elective Share | Estate Lawyers in Cary NC

The revised statutes are based solely on the length of marriage and are as follows:

  • A surviving spouse is entitled to 15 percent of total net assets if married less than 5 years.
  • If married at least five years but less than 10 years, the surviving spouse is entitled to 25 percent.
  • If married at least 10 years but less than 15 years, the surviving spouse will get 33 percent.
  • For couples who were married at least 15 years, the surviving spouse is entitled to half of the deceased’s assets.

The “total net assets” are defined as any property the deceased held at the time of his or her death, jointly or individually, plus benefits under life insurance policies and retirement accounts.
Even though the new revisions protect spouses even if it wasn’t their first marriage, they prevent some married couples from getting larger amounts distributed to their surviving spouses. A newly married couple will only see 15 percent of the assets going to the survivor, even if they have been together for longer but not married.
Eight other states, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia, have adopted a similar sliding percentage scale for their elective share statutes.
There are requirements that must be met in order for a surviving spouse to claim the elective share. It also must be done within a certain time period.
Eldreth Law Firm, PLLC | Estate Lawyers in Cary NC
If you have not updated your will since 2013, when the laws were changed in North Carolina, it may be time to review your estate plan with our estate lawyers in Cary NC to ensure that it still meets your needs under the new elective share rules. Contact us, today to make an appointment

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