Wills are created by someone as they get older so as to ensure that their estate gets distributed consistent with their wishes. It is thought that what the will says will be exactly what happens after their passing. However, that is not always the case. The surviving spouse may actually be able to get more than what is stated in the original will due to Minnesota’s elective share statute.
Minnesota Statute 524.2-202, also known as the elective share statute, states “the surviving spouse of a decedent who dies domiciled in this state has a right of election, under the limitations and conditions stated in this part, to take an elective-share amount equal to the value of the elective-share percentage of the augmented estate, determined by the length of time the spouse and the decedent were married to each other.” Accompanying this statute is a chart showing the percentage a surviving spouse may elect, based on how long the couple was married. The percentage of estate the surviving spouse can receive and length of marriage is positively correlated, in that the longer the marriage, so the greater the percentage of an estate the surviving spouse can receive.
Essentially, this means that the surviving spouse may end up getting more than was promised in the will based on the elective share statute. If you need assistance with understanding and incorporating the elective share statute, I would be more than willing to help you with that process.
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