(a) On the death of a spouse, the surviving spouse may elect, as provided in subsection (c) of this section, to take a statutory share of the real and personal property passing under the will of the deceased spouse. The “statutory share” means a life estate of one-third in value of all the property passing under the will, real and personal, legally or equitably owned by the deceased spouse at the time of his or her death, after the payment of all debts and charges against the estate. The right to such third shall not be defeated by any disposition of the property by will to other parties.

Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 45a-436

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
  • Life estate: A property interest limited in duration to the life of the individual holding the interest (life tenant).
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.

(b) If the deceased spouse has by will devised or bequeathed a portion of his or her property to his or her surviving spouse, such provision shall be taken to be in lieu of the statutory share unless the contrary is expressly stated in the will or clearly appears therein; but, in any such case, the surviving spouse may elect to take the statutory share in lieu of the provision of the will.

(c) The surviving spouse, or the conservator or guardian of the estate of the surviving spouse, with the approval, after notice and hearing, of the Probate Court by which such conservator or guardian was appointed, shall, not later than one hundred fifty days after the mailing of the decree admitting the will to probate, file a notice, in writing, of his or her intention to take the statutory share with the Probate Court before which the estate is in settlement, and if such notice is not so filed, the surviving spouse shall be barred of such statutory share.

(d) If the Probate Court has allowed a support allowance under section 45a-320 from the deceased spouse’s estate for support of the surviving spouse and for the support of his or her family, the surviving spouse shall not take his or her statutory share until the expiration of the time for which the support allowance is made.

(e) The statutory share shall be set out by the fiduciary charged with the administration of the estate or, in the discretion of the Probate Court on its own motion or on application by any interested person, by distributors appointed by the Probate Court. The statutory share may consist of personal property or real property, or both, according to the judgment of the fiduciary or distributors.

(f) The provisions of this section with regard to the statutory share of the surviving spouse in the property of the deceased spouse shall not apply to any case in which, by written contract made before or after marriage, either party has received from the other what was intended as a provision in lieu of the statutory share.

(g) A surviving spouse shall not be entitled to a statutory share, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, or an intestate share, as provided in section 45a-437, in the property of the other if such surviving spouse, without sufficient cause, abandoned the other and continued such abandonment to the time of the other’s death.

(h) The provisions of this section shall apply to estates of all persons dying on or after July 1, 1985.