Intestate Succession and Elective Share

Intestate succession is the process courts follow to determine how a decedent’s estate should be distributed when a person dies without a valid will. These laws are set by states, so they can and do vary. Elective shares are amounts that certain people (surviving spouses, minor children, etc.) can elect to take from an estate even if not provided for in the decedent’s will. How these decisions and elections are made are what you will be addressing this week. Why do different states have different rules? Should we have a nationwide standard?

Research both the intestate succession laws and elective share in your own state. Prepare a memorandum that outlines your state’s statutes on intestate succession. Use the following sources to begin your search: FindLaw, Lexis Advance, or your state’s government website.

 For more information on writing a memorandum, click here to download and review a recommended source.