Kapolei, HI asked in Probate for Hawaii

Q: If a surviving spouse is left out a will, are that allowed to "take against the will" and what will they get?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK

A: I believe most states, if not all, have "forced share" statutes that entitle a surviving widow (or widower) to take a minimum share of the deceased spouse's estate, even when the decedent's will left her less than she would have been entitled to by intestate succession. There are many variations of this and many circumstances that may affect the size or proportion of her share. There are also variations in state laws about what of the decedent's property belongs to his probate estate and is subject to the forced share provisions, and this can be heavily affected by his having kept his separate property separate or by a prenuptial agreement. No attorney can give you a clear answer without much more information.

If this is your situation, you should contact an experienced probate or estate planning lawyer in your area for specific advice at your earliest opportunity.

Robin R. Gregory agrees with this answer

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