Can a husband eliminate a spousal inheritance via a trust tohis children?

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Can a husband eliminate a spousal inheritance via a trust tohis children?

My husband of 5 years has set-up a trust leaving everyting to his grown children including the vehicles, etc. The house has been in his daughter’s namel for 10 years. We are in our 70’s. Do I have any options or spousal rights in OH? They treat me very poorly and will kick me out immediately upon his passing.

Asked on February 5, 2011 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

i am so sorry for your situation.  Generally speaking, a wife is entitled to a certain amount of her husband's estate upon his passing.  In other words, you can not cut your spouse out of you estate. If a spouse does not receive his or her entitled share then they can institute their "right of election"  against the spousal estate.  However, if the amount that the spouse inherits by operation of law - say assets jointly held that pass to the spouse automatically and in some states beneficiaries of life insurance policies - then the law has been satisfied and there is not right of election.  Seek some consultation in your are on the matter.  And be prepared to move if the house is not yours or you do not have a life estate.  Good luck.


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