Spousal Right of Election

The Spousal Right of Election

Under New York law, a surviving spouse in New York has a right to a share of the estate, even if the will all specifically excludes them. This is known as the spousal right of election. The spousal right of election includes cash or cash equivalents, vehicles, personal property and other assets. The spouse is also entitled to other assets outside of the spousal right of election that includes gifts and other types of assets.

If your spouse recently died and it appears that you have been left out of the will, we can assist and maximize your inheritance. However, New York has a strict and specific time when to file your claim for your spousal right of election—if it’s not filed in a timely manner, you may be considered to have waived your rights. If you do not file in time and cannot extend your time to file, you may forfeit your claim and you may never recover your share of the estate matter.

Unfortunately, ignorance is no excuse to not filing timely and you will be barred forever if you do not timely and correctly file.

At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we handle all litigation relating to the spousal right of election. For more than 20 years, we have effectively protected the rights of people in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island. We’ll work with you throughout the estate litigation process, using our skill, knowledge, experience and resources to protect your rights.


Out-of-State Executor Attorney

We represent clients nationwide, if you are a fiduciary (executor, administrator, or trustee) an heir or beneficiary of a New York estate. If the decedent died in New York or has assets in New York State, we can help you. If you are chosen to represent the estate or if you are receiving an inheritance from a New York estate, contact our law firm today.

There are Two Types of New York Estates

  1. The Decedent resided in NY at the time of death and their domicile is New York at the time of death; or
  2. There are assets located in NY, at the time of death, and an ancillary proceeding is needed. The Decedent may have died elsewhere
New York estate & probate attorney

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