Can a husband disinherit his wife?

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Can a husband disinherit his wife?

My husband and myself have had a rocky 16 years. Now, we are married again but he says because he blames me, he will leave something to our kids and his grown kids; I will be lucky just to get the house we live in. Is this legal? Can he still punish me even in death? He is wealthy and has approximately 50 acres, a business, our home and 3 other homes (2 of which I helped create and run a tourism business with). What will become of me if he doesn’t leave a Will? Should and how could I start preparing for my and my children’s security?

Asked on January 6, 2013 under Estate Planning, Arkansas

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I do not know of a single state that permits a husband to disinherit his wife.  Arkansas does not permit it.  Although I do not practice in Arkansas, I understand that this state follows the principles of common law dower and permits a wife to inherit a portion of the husband's estate even if the husband attempted to leave the entire estate to someone else.  The wife's portion of the estate is not subject to the husband's creditors either.

You can consult an Arkansas estate lawyer if you wish to know the details of what you will inherit and how.  There certainly may be actions you can take to protect your interests, so I encourage you to consult with a lawyer soon.

 


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