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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

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. § 321)
  • § 321. Conveyance to defeat spouse’s interest

    (a) A voluntary transfer of any property by an individual during a marriage or civil union and not to take effect until at or after the individual’s death, made without adequate consideration and for the primary purpose of defeating a surviving spouse’s right to claim the survivor’s intestate or elective share of the decedent’s property so transferred, shall be void and inoperative to bar the claim, unless the surviving spouse waived the survivor’s right to make a claim against the deceased spouse’s estate or the property transferred pursuant to section 323 of this title. If the surviving spouse has not signed a waiver of spousal rights pursuant to section 323 of this title, then the decedent shall be deemed at the time of his or her death to be the owner of the property and the court may:

    (1) increase the surviving spouse’s share of the decedent’s probate estate in an amount the court deems reasonable to account for the right the surviving spouse would otherwise have had in the property so transferred; or

    (2) if the assets of the decedent’s probate estate are insufficient to account for the right the surviving spouse would otherwise have had in the property, then order any other equitable relief the court deems appropriate.

    (b) Neither this section nor any other provision of this title shall be construed to affect an enhanced life estate deed. As used in this subsection, “enhanced life estate deed,” also known as a “Ladybird deed,” shall mean a deed that conveys a future interest in real estate that is revocable or otherwise subject to limitation, with the transfer of the remaining title rights to take place when the grantor dies. (Added 2009, No. 55, § 5, eff. June 1, 2009; amended 2017, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)