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augmented estate

Jul 10, 2018

Beneficiary Rights of Separated Spouses

The tragic deaths of celebrities Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade brought attention to the critical importance of recognizing and treating depression.  In the case of Kate Spade, it also highlights the beneficiary rights of separated spouses.  Ms. Spade’s husband revealed that he and his wife had been separated for almost a year prior to her death.  » Read More

Jan 31, 2017

Elective Share Update – What Does it Mean to Be Living Separate and Apart or Ceasing to Cohabitate as Man and Wife?

We addressed a spouse’s elective share in a previous post in the context of whether one spouse in a married couple could effectively disinherit his or her surviving spouse.  New Jersey spouses have the statutory right, unless validly waived in writing, to take up to one-third of their deceased spouse’s augmented estate regardless of the provisions of the deceased spouse’s Will. » Read More

Nov 14, 2016

Can I Be Cut Out Of My Spouse’s Will?

The answer to that question is the typical wholly unsatisfying response to many great legal questions- it depends.

New Jersey law provides that surviving spouses have the right to a minimum “elective share” equal to one-third of the “augmented estate.”  The augmented estate is essentially the decedent spouse’s probate estate, which includes all assets passing under the decedent’s Will, plus certain assets transferred by the decedent during lifetime in which he or she retained some type of control, or which were made within two years of death.  » Read More