An omitted spouse is a surviving spouse that was unintentionally disinherited under a will or trust that was executed prior to marriage. The California law protects an omitted spouse by providing for him or her a share in the deceased spouse's property as if the deceased spouse died intestate or without a will. There are, however, three exceptions wherein the surviving spouse will not receive a share in the decedent's estate. These exceptions include a) the intentional omission of the spouse from the will or trust and the intention appears from the testamentary instruments; b) the decedent or deceased spouse already provided for the surviving spouse by transfers outside of the estate; and c) the surviving spouse made a valid agreement waiving the right to share in the decedent's estate. A case that exemplifies one of the above exceptions is the Estate of Ted Will (170 Cal.App.4th 902 (2009)).
We will discuss the Estate of Will in our subsequent blogs.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.