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Spousal Election: Suggested Equitable Reform for the Division of Property at Death

54 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2008  

Angela M. Vallario

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

Testators have traditionally enjoyed immense discretion in directing the disposition of their wealth upon death; however, when a spouse survives the testator, public policy dictates a limitation on the testator's ability to dispose of property. American jurisdictions impose this limitation through the elective share in common law states and by the nature of property ownership in community property states. Ideally, this limitation should ensure equitable financial protection for the surviving spouse and protect his or her interest in assets that were accumulated with the decedent, yet the current elective share methods fall short of these goals.

Keywords: spousal election, marital property, testator, disposition, surviving spouse, elective share

Suggested Citation

Vallario, Angela M., Spousal Election: Suggested Equitable Reform for the Division of Property at Death (2003). Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1147167

Angela M. Vallario (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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