On Demand

Spousal Elective Shares in New York


Created on September 14, 2016




The subject of spousal rights is apparent throughout the EPTL and the SCPA, and is a principal concern to estate practitioners in terms of planning and litigation. The purpose of the provisions addressing spousal rights is to promote the financial interests of a surviving spouse, and to provide mechanisms by which these financial interests can be secured and enforced. The most significant spousal protection can be found within the provisions of EPTL § 5-1.1-A – the elective share statute. The elective share statute provides a surviving spouse with a required minimum interest in a decedent's estate. The elective share amount is based upon a formula set forth in the statute.

The course, led by attorney Ilene Cooper, provides an in-depth discussion of the elective share statute – its application, its exceptions and its enforcement. She reviews the operation and calculation of the elective share, as well as issues, pitfalls and exceptions that may exist in connection with making such an election. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Recognize the time to make an election
  2. Understand the computation of the elective share
  3. Identify testamentary substitutes
  4. Address the issue of standing to assert an elective share
  5. Grasp the impact of waiver of the elective share
  6. Review proceedings to fix and determine a right of election

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