18 Oct General intestacy rules in pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law ensures that a surviving spouse may not be disinherited. In fact, a Pennsylvania surviving spouse has a right of election if he or she is not satisfied with the distribution they are to receive under the will. If the surviving spouse has been omitted from the will, he or she may elect to receive a share of the deceased spouse’s estate up to the share the surviving spouse would have received under the laws of intestate succession. Generally, the surviving spouse’s elective share under Pennsylvania law is one-third of the decedent’s estate, and certain non-probate property. The property subject to election includes:
1. Property passing from the decedent by will or intestacy.
2. Income or use for the remaining life of the spouse of property conveyed by the decedent during the marriage to the extent that the decedent, at the time of his death, had the use of the property or an interest in or power to withdraw the income thereof.
3. Property conveyed by the decedent during his lifetime to the extent that the decedent, at the time of his death, had a power to revoke the conveyance or to consume, invade, or dispose of the principal for his own benefit.
4. Property conveyed by the decedent during the marriage to himself and another or others with right of survivorship, to the extent of any interest in the property that the decedent had the power, at the time of his death, unilaterally, to convey absolutely or in fee.
5. Survivorship rights conveyed to a beneficiary of an annuity contract to the extent it was purchased by the decedent during the marriage and the decedent was receiving annuity payments therefrom at the time of his death.
6. Property conveyed by the decedent during the marriage and within one year of his death, to the extent that the aggregate amount so conveyed to each donee exceeds $3,000, valued at the time of conveyance.
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