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Not quite. The surviving spouse can claim either (a) whatever they were left by the Will, or, (b) HALF of the community property (meaning assets earned and accrued during marriage; but not inheritances, gifts, or assets held prior to marriage by only one of the parties).
Because married couples that have lived together a long time tend to have almost everything they as communal property, this in effect allows the spouse to claim almost half of the estate (i.e. half of the communal property).
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