Are you obligated to leave your spouse a specific percentage of your estate in your will?

Legal Moment on Dave Rocks

Transcript

[phone ringing]
Receptionist: Cohen Highley
Announcer: And now the Cohen Highley Legal Moment on Dave Rocks.
Announcer: I’m with Victoria Gordon from Cohen Highley Lawyers. Are you obligated to leave your spouse a specific percentage of your estate in your will?
Victoria Gordon: No, you are not obligated to leave your married spouse any portion of your estate in your will. However, Section 6 of the Family Law Act allows a surviving spouse to choose between accepting their entitlement under the will or claiming an equalization payment. In legal terms, this is commonly referred to as a spousal election.
Announcer: Explain equalization payment.
Victoria Gordon: This is the amount that would have been available to your spouse had the marriage ended in separation or divorce . Upon the breakdown of a marriage each spouse is entitled to share equally in the value of the property acquired during the marriage and any increase in value of property brought into the marriage.
Announcer: Is there a timeframe for spousal elections?
Victoria Gordon: The form indicating the surviving spouse’s election must be filed within six months of the first spouse’s death.
Announcer: Thanks Victoria. This has been the Cohen Highley Legal Moment.
[Music]
Singers: Cohen Highley, we’re listening.  cohenhighley.com

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