If my partner is still married but names me as beneficiary in his Will, will his wife get anything?

We have been together for 10 years’ he has not lived with his wife for 20 years.

Asked on October 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is always a good idea to plan ahead in all types of situations.  Your question raises any issues.  And with out knowing more about the financial situation specifically, I can tell you that generally, wives have what is known as a right of election against a Will of their spouse, meaning that they can not in most states (all I think except one) be disinherited by their spouse. They can "elect" against a Will for a percentage of the estate.  Now, he can indeed provide for her under the Will by giving her an amount equal to what the law permits her to elect (in some states it is a third of the estate) to avoid an upset.  He should go and see an estate planner as soon as he can.  Good luck.


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