Wednesday, January 9, 2008

If One Spouse Dies, How Much Does the Other Spouse Get?

The surviving spouse does not take everything.

If a spouse died with a Will, the law controlling this situation is IC 29-1-3-1. The surviving spouse takes one-half to one-third. How much the surviving spouse takes depends on if there are also children and if the children are from a prior marriage.

When a spouse dies without a Will, then IC 29-1-2-1 controls the issue. The same concept applies: how much the surviving spouse gets depends on if there are children and if the children are of a prior marriage.

If you do not like how IC 29-1-2-1 deals with your property, then you need to get a Will. If you have children from a prior marriage, you need a prenuptial agreement. If you are married, a post-nuptial agreement may be the solution.

If you wish to consult with me on a Will, or a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, please give me a call.