What are my spouse’s property rights upon my death?

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What are my spouse’s property rights upon my death?

I live in Massachusetts. I was married in Massachusetts several years ago. We have
no children together. I have two adult children and three minor grandchildren from a
previous marriage. I recently made a revocable trust, leaving all of my assets to my
children and did not provide for my present spouse as she has her own assets.
Does she have any rights as my widow to any of my assets if I predecease her,
even though I was explicit in my Trust that I was not leaving her any of my assets?

Asked on December 15, 2016 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The trust property will not be part of your estate and will pass as per the terms of the trust IF the trust is properly set up and funded (the property properly put into the trust). If you did this yourself, have it reviewed by a trusts and estates attorney to make sure things are set up right, because if the trust is not set up properly and "fails," the assets in it will be part of your estate.
Anything that is in your estate at your death will--if there is no will saying otherwise--go 1/2 to your spouse and 1/2 to your children in your state.


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