What is the Surviving Spouse's Share of an Estate in Massachusetts?
Understanding a Surviving Spouse's Rights Under the Law
Massachusetts has a required spousal share, meaning that no matter what you put in your last will and testament, your spouse will receive a percentage of the probate assets. Remember that not all assets are probate assets. Your retirement and most investment funds have beneficiary designations that you can change at any time. Other assets can be put into a trust so that they distribute outside of probate.
If you and your spouse have children together, that is the first $25,000 in assets and a life interest or life estate in 1/3 of the remaining assets. If you do not have children and your spouse has other relatives, the elective share is the first $25,000 and a life estate in 1/2 of the remaining assets.
If the deceased spouse has no living relatives, which is rare, the spousal share is the first $25,000 and 1/2 of the remaining assets outright.
Learn more here about the spousal share in Massachusetts.
Need Help With Your Will?