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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 14 : Decedents Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Chapter 042 : DESCENT AND SURVIVORS' RIGHTS

Subchapter 002 : SURVIVORS' RIGHTS AND ALLOWANCES

(Cite as: 14 V.S.A. § 319)
  • § 319. Elective share of surviving spouse; notice of rights

    (a) Subject to subsection (d) of this section, a surviving spouse may elect to waive the provisions of the decedent's will and in lieu thereof elect to take one-half of the balance of the probate estate, after the payment of allowances, claims, and expenses.

    (b) The surviving spouse must be living at the time this election is made. An election under this section may be signed on behalf of the surviving spouse by a guardian, an agent, or an attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney that:

    (1) expressly grants the authority to make the election; or

    (2)(A) grants the agent or attorney-in-fact the authority to act in the management and disposition of the principal's property that is as broad or comprehensive as the principal could exercise for himself or herself; and

    (B) does not expressly exclude the authority to make the election.

    (c) An agent or attorney-in-fact may petition the Probate Division of the Superior Court to determine whether a power of attorney described in subdivision (b)(2) grants the agent or attorney-in-fact authority that is as broad or comprehensive as that which the principal could exercise for himself or herself.

    (d) A surviving spouse may not elect against a deceased spouse's will under this section if the surviving spouse has waived the right to elect against the deceased spouse's will pursuant to section 323 of this title.

    (e)(1) The court shall provide the surviving spouse with a notice of the rights of the surviving spouse not later than 30 days from the filing of the initial inventory.

    (2) Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a surviving spouse shall file with the court a written election to waive the provisions of a decedent's will within four months of the later of the following dates:

    (A) the date of service of the notice of rights of surviving spouse; or

    (B) the date of service of the inventory.

    (f) Upon the filing of any subsequent or amended inventory or any accounting that reports previously undisclosed property owned by the decedent as of the date of death, the surviving spouse shall have 30 days from the date of service of the filing to elect against the newly reported property, unless otherwise ordered by the court. (Added 2009, No. 55, § 5, eff. June 1, 2009; amended 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)