Is there a certain amount of time that you need to be married before you can inherit money from a spouse?

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Is there a certain amount of time that you need to be married before you can inherit money from a spouse?

If a couple are married for less than 60 days and then the husband dies, is the wife entitled to his assets?

Asked on July 10, 2019 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

All that is required to be eligible for such an inheritance is that the parties were married; the length of the marriage is of no conseqence. Accordingly, once the wedding officiant says,"You are now husband and wife", you are a legal heir.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, she would be--there is no minimum time to be married. All that matters is status--i.e. are you a spouse or not? If you are a spouse, which you are from the very moment you are married, then you are treated as a spouse for inheritance purposes.


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