Can I claim an elective share if my spouse disinherited me?

Your spouse recently passed away and you just learned that he or she disinherited you in their will. In Colorado, you may be able to protect your right to inherit from the decedent’s estate even if it goes against their final wishes by filing for an elective share. However, you may lose your right to claim an elective share if there is a prenuptial agreement in place, states Mission Wealth. A postnuptial agreement may also invalidate your right to an elective share if you and your deceased partner were divorced.

An elective share, also known as a statutory share includes all of your deceased spouse’s assets that are tied to trusts, beneficiaries and property. Your spouse left behind a will that affects your right to inherit from his or her estate. Even though your partner’s intent was to keep you from inheriting, as the surviving spouse, you may be entitled to receive no more than one-half and no less than one-third of his or her assets. If there was no will in place, you would have been eligible to inherit all of his or her assets.

It is important for you to understand how claiming an elective share can impact your deceased spouse’s beneficiaries, surviving children and your relationship with them. An elective share can keep your deceased partner’s heirs from receiving some or all of their inheritance and can lead to discord, negative feelings and legal issues if they decide to file a claim to fight your right to the elective share. This information is only intended as educational material and should not be used as legal advice.