Let Our Estate Lawyers Help Protect Your Rights in Your Time of Need
Virginia law has many protections to prevent the surviving spouse of someone who has passed away from being disinherited and left destitute. For example, the surviving spouse is allowed to claim certain statutory allowances from the estate as part of the probate process, even if the surviving spouse was not named in the will or if there was no will. These allowances give the surviving spouse rights in the estate that trump the rights of creditors or other beneficiaries of the estate. If there was no surviving spouse, the surviving minor children might also qualify to receive these allowances.
What Kinds of Statutory Allowances Are There?
There are three kinds of allowances:
- The family allowance is money paid from the estate to the surviving spouse in order to support the surviving spouse and minor children. This amount of money cannot exceed $24,000.00 paid in a lump sum or $2,000.00 in monthly payments paid over a year. This allowance can be taken in addition to anything given to the surviving spouse in the will.
- The exempt property allowance allows the surviving spouse (or the surviving minor children if there was no surviving spouse) the right to claim up to $20,000.00 in household furniture, automobiles, furnishings, appliances, and personal effects. This allowance can be taken in addition to the family allowance and anything given to the surviving spouse in the will.
- The homestead allowance allows the surviving spouse (or the surviving minor children if there was no surviving spouse) the right to $20,000.00 of the estate. This is in addition to the family allowance and the exempt property allowance, but it takes the place of any share given to the surviving spouse under the will unless the share was less than $20,000.00.
As you might have noticed, sometimes the statutory allowances take the place of other benefits that you might otherwise receive. Claiming the statutory allowances is not always the most beneficial thing to do. But fear not—our experienced estate attorneys are here to help you figure out whether you should claim some or all of these statutory allowances or whether you should leave well enough alone.
Of course, if you are in charge of administering an estate and need help determining whether or not a claim for these statutory allowances is legitimate, we can help with that, too.
Contact One of Our Estate Lawyers to Claim Your Statutory Allowances Today!
There are strict deadlines in which these allowances must be claimed. Our estate lawyers are available to help clients claim their statutory allowances from estates throughout Southside Virginia, including estates in Amelia County, Appomattox County, Buckingham County, Brunswick County, Campbell County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Dinwiddie County, Halifax County, Lunenburg County, Mecklenburg County, Nottoway County, and Prince Edward County. There are strict deadlines that must be met, so contact one of our expert estate attorneys to prepare the documents necessary to claim these statutory allowances without delay!