A surviving spouse has many rights under Vermont law, including:
- Intestate Share
- Exempt Property
- Maintenance Allowance
- Homestead Exemption
Surviving Spouse Rights In Vermont When There Is No Valid Will
When someone dies without a valid will, they have died intestate. An intestate estate is governed by Vermont law.
Surviving Spouse Elective Share Rights – Election Against The Will
In Vermont, the surviving spouse has the right to elect to take an elective share. The elective share right is in lieu of any bequest in decedent’s will. A surviving spouse generally opts to take an elective share when they are not satisfied with the bequest left in the will, or they were disinherited in the will.
The elective share amount to which the surviving spouse is entitled is
Surviving Spouse Allowances and Exemptions
The surviving spouse also has the right to claim certain allowances and exemptions. These include:
- All furnishings and furniture in decedent’s household
- If the estate consists mainly of a vessel, snowmobile, or all-terrain vehicle, the spouse is deemed the owner automatically
- A reasonable maintenance allowance for the spouse’s expenses and maintenance until the settlement of the estate
- Homestead exemption not exceeding $125,000 in value