Spousal / Elective Share: Constitutional or Not?

Jacksonville spousal share, Ponte Vedra Spousal Share, Orange park elective share.jpgOften in the process of Florida Estate Planning, Florida Elder Law, or Florida Probate I get asked about the effects of Florida’s Spousal Share Statutes. The statutes reserve 30 % of the decedents estate for a spouse in the event that the decedent did not provide at least that amount in their will or other Florida Estate Planning Documents. This right can be waived by the spouse in pre or post nuptial documents. Often for wealthy clients, or those who are legally separated but not divorced the spousal share can become a big issue. If you think that a spousal share might be an issue with your estate planning, you should discuss it with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.

Last week a Florida Appeals Court looked at, Whether Florida’s Spousal Share Statutes were constitutional or not?

Generally Florida Statutes are constitutional unless they are not rationally related to furthering a valid governmental objective. Lane v. Chiles, 698, So.2d 260, 262 (Fla 1997) In this case the court looked at whether the potential loss of property rights were rationally related to providing a share in the assets of the decedent.

The Florida Appeals Court upheld the statute and found that the statute was rational related to the purpose. The Florida Probate Litigation blog has an excellent analysis of the case In RE Estate of Magee Download file.

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