Under ideal circumstances a husband and wife will agree to what the surviving spouse should receive when the other dies. However, many times when this doesn’t happen the surviving spouse receives a portion of the estate they are unsatisfied with. For example, an elderly couple who marries later in life may want to provide their grandchildren, so they leave 90% of their estate to them and 10% to their wife. In Florida, if the wife is unsatisfied with these conditions, she may make a claim for an elective share.
An elective share is statutorily defined as a right of the surviving spouse to a specific portion of the estate when he/she isn’t satisfied with the amount received under a Florida will. Taking a 30% elective share of the estate is something a surviving spouse has a right to in Florida. However, the elective share does not overcome a pre or post nuptial agreement between the husband and wife.
Many times the elective share consists of more than just the net probate estate. The assets subject to the elective share can be different than those subject to a probate and it is a complicated process to calculate what assets should be included in a Florida Elective Share. Therefore, the surviving spouse will receive 30% of the elective estate which include other property interests that pass outside of probate. To discuss what property is subject to the elective share and what amount may be due to you contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer or Florida Family Law Attorney to assist in the estate planning process.