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Law Pro
Law Pro, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
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I need help with this question........Gordan, who had been

Customer Question

I need help with this question........Gordan, who had been unhappily married and had two children who greatly disappointed him, wanted to make his will. He did not want either his wife or children to get any of his property. Can he make such a disposition of his property by will?

conduct outside research to locate information on landlords and wills to support your decision
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 8 years ago.
What state is this going on in?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

North dakota ... it just an assignment for my class and I need to have something back as soon as possible because I have to have it turn in by friday night at midnight centeral time.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 8 years ago.

It depends upon what state the Gordon resides in whether or not a spouse or children have the right to claim an "elective share" as opposed to what they were bequeathed pursuant to the will.


An elective share is a term used in American law relating to inheritance, which describes a proportion of an estate which the surviving spouse of the deceased may claim in place of what they were left in the decedent's will. It may also be called a widow's share, statutory share or forced share.


The elective share is the modern version of the English common law concepts of dower and curtesy, both of which reserved certain portions of a decedent's estate which were reserved for the surviving spouse, in order to prevent them from falling into poverty and becoming a burden on the community.


Currently, the amount to be reserved for a spouse is determined by the law of the state where the estate is located. In most states, the elective share is between 1/3 and 1/2 of all the property in the estate, although many states require the marriage to have lasted a certain number of years for the elective share to be claimed, or adjust the share based on the length of the marriage, and the presence of minor children. Some states also reduce the elective share if the surviving spouse is independently wealthy.

If the spouse claims the elective share, they get that amount, but nothing else from the estate. Obviously, there would be no point in seeking an elective share if the surviving spouse has already been willed more than they would receive under the statute. Furthermore, some assets held by the estate may be exempt from becoming part of the elective share, so their value is subtracted from the total value of the estate before the elective share is calculated.


Some states also permit children of the deceased to claim an elective share. Although this is stated in my research, I could not find one state that allowed a child to claim an "elective share".

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
do you have a website you got this information from. i need it as a source for my paper? and is there anything eles that i can add to it?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 8 years ago.
I got the information for Wikipedia - I usually find the legal information therein to be very accurate (I do read all that I cut and paste from there). The only thing I disagree with Wikipedia is, as I stated, that children have the right to take an "elective share" as against the will. I have never heard of such and cannot find a state that allows such. In fact, the statement that some states do allow children an elective share bothers me to some extent because it gave no reference to any state whatsoever. I did research the matter and the only similar reference was almost verbatim from Wikipedia. I did search the matter and did not find one state that allowed it although they made reference to such. However, the balance of the information is absolutely correct and the history of the elective share is correct.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I been doing some research on this area:


Some states also permit children of the deceased to claim an elective share


I did find this website where it talked about

Florida's New Elective Share Statute and this is the website if you want to check it out and let me know becasue I not sure if that state had one or not.