The Estate & Asset Protection Law Firm Owner, Shannon Pawley, Writes About A Law That Protects Surviving Spouses From Being Cut Out Of The Will.

A photograph of wedding bands on top of money.

The Estate & Asset Protection Law Firm Owner, Shannon Pawley, offers hope and help to surviving spouses who may be in danger of being cut out of the will left by their spouse either by the spouse or the surviving children.

Pawley Shannon business card photoDECATUR, GA, March 27, 2023: Shannon Pawley, Owner of The Estate & Asset Protection Law Firm, has posted a new article on the law firm’s website entitled “Spousal Election: What Is It And Why Would A Surviving Spouse Elect It.”  Ms. Pawley emphasizes the importance of knowing about and understanding this law.

According to Pawley, “It used to happen more frequently than it does today, back when it was more difficult to get a divorce. That is,” she explains, “cutting a surviving spouse out of the will or leaving them with little to nothing to live on.” She continues, “We’ve all heard the stories of long, drawn-out, nasty divorces. And we’ve also heard the stories of surviving widows who get drawn into lengthy probate battles with surviving children and end up with nothing from their marriages. After months, years, or a lifetime of grievances between spouses who stayed married instead of getting divorced, the acrimony can be deep.” Pawley emphasizes, “Despite any such discord, there are rules today that prevent people from disinheriting their spouses.”

Pawley states, “Even though there are plenty who do, most people don’t want to deprive their surviving spouses of support. In most states,” she continues, “fortunately, there is a rule in place known as spousal election. The details of spousal election vary by state, but the rule allows a surviving spouse to elect to receive whatever is or is not given to her/him in the estate plan or to receive a certain percentage of the total assets of the estate. Commonly, this election is for between one-third and one-half in most states.”

“Even with this rule in place,” Pawley writes, “some spouses will still try to work around the law and use a revocable trust to effectively disinherit a spouse.  The reason for the spousal election rule is that people felt there was a duty to care for one’s own spouse and that it would be wrong to leave a widow destitute.”

Pawley notes, “Georgia does not have a spousal election, but it still realizes the need and focus to provide for the surviving spouse through what is known as Petition for a Year’s Support.  Much like a spousal election,” she explains, “a Petition for a Year’s Support requests that the Probate Court approve a specific amount of money to be set aside for the surviving spouse’s support for one year.”

The entire article can be read HERE.

About The Estate & Asset Protection Law Firm

The Estate & Asset Protection Law Firm was established to serve the legal needs of retiring citizens. The Firm focuses its entire practice on providing strategies to protect independence, privacy, assets and taxes from the government. Shannon Pawley has grown her law practice by providing excellent customer satisfaction with personalized wealth protection plans.

About Shannon M. Pawley, J.D., LL.M

As the owner of The Estate & Asset Protection Law Firm, Shannon M. Pawley and her entire team share a passion which focuses on being able to serve the legal needs of retiring individuals. In our firm, WE BELIEVE that people should not have to lose everything they’ve worked a lifetime to earn and that every person is an individual who deserves respect and the highest quality of life possible, regardless of age or ability.  We also believe that privacy and protection are the keys to personal peace. Born and raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia to a tightknit family with strong military service roots, Shannon learned from an early age the value of hard work and the importance of social awareness to ensure you always leave a situation in a better place than how you entered it.  In her junior year of high school, Shannon served as U.S. House of Representatives Page during the 101st United States Congressional Session in Washington, D.C.  This experience exposed her to numerous new cultures and worldly issues.  Walking away from her experience as a U.S. House of Representative Page, Shannon knew that she wanted to pursue legal studies and be able to assist others in obtaining the best results available in difficult situations.

Shannon earned her undergraduate degree at North Carolina Wesleyan College and pursued a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.  After obtaining her law degree and becoming a licensed attorney in Michigan, she continued her educational pursuit by acquiring a LL.M. (Master of Law) in Taxation from Wayne State University. After moving to Georgia in 2018, Shannon obtained her Georgia law license and has enjoyed being able to pursue her desire of ensuring persons are able to age with dignity, grace and independence.



Posted Under: Elder Law Georgia, Shannon Pawley