December 5, 2012

Does the Representative of a Deceased Spouse's Estate Have the Right to Renounce the Will of a Predeceased Spouse?

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
Andrew R. Gelman
A surviving spouse is a protected person under the Illinois Probate Act (the "Act"). One of the benefits afforded a surviving spouse is a right to renounce the deceased spouse's will. Under Section 2-8(a) of the Act, the surviving spouse is entitled to 1/3 of the probate estate if the testator leaves a descendant or 1/2 of the estate if the testator leaves no descendant. This share is after the payment of all "just claims", which includes estate taxes and another benefit of the surviving spouse, the spouse's award. As a result of the passage of the Illinois Court Union Act, a surviving partner to a civil union has the same rights as a married spouse.

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