Reston, VA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: Are standard bank accounts eligible for Elective Share?

For example, a husband passes and has standard bank accounts in excess of $50k in his name only that in his will are left to his daughter. His surviving spouse takes Elective Share. Is the surviving spouse eligible to receive the 1/3 share of those accounts? This situation being in Pennsylvania.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen M. Asbel
Stephen M. Asbel
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: These bank accounts are counted as part of the total of assets that count toward calculating the 1/3 elective share even if the accounts were specifically left the decedent's daughter. Whether the surviving spouse actually receives money out of the accounts depends upon whether there are other assets in the estate. If the surviving spouse can be paid the 1/3 share by taking it out of the residue of the estate, then the daughter can get the full specific bequest of the bank accounts. If the residue is not sufficient to meet that 1/3 share claim of the surviving spouse, then some portion of t will have to come from those bank accounts.

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