North Dakota Increased Estates and the Uniform Probate Code

North Dakota is only one of 10 states to adopt the Uniform Probate Code’s enhanced estate concept. Augmented estates enable disinherited partners to claim a share of their spouse’s property if they were disinherited.

Although many states allow partners to claim an elective share, North Dakota’s legislature adopted the idea of permitting a partner to receive more than an elective share, which normally just includes probate property. In North Dakota, disinherited spouses can receive a part of the decedent’s enhanced estate, that includes probate and non-probate assets.
According to the North Dakota Century Code, a making it through partner can submit a written election within 9 months of the decedent’s death or within six months of the date his will was probated, whichever occurs later. The surviving spouse must file the composed augmented estate election within this timeframe or she waives her right to receive the enhanced estate. By waiving her right to get an increased estate, the surviving partner simply takes what her other half left her in his will. However, if she chooses the augmented estate, she will get 50 percent of his probate and non-probate property.

A decedent’s augmented estate is generally the value of his estate minus funeral service, homestead exemptions, administration expenses, consisting of burial and probate costs, and household allowances. The increased estate is likewise reduced by the amount of genuine and enforceable claims by a decedent’s creditors.
Drafted as part of a joint effort between the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Area of the American Bar Association, the drafters completed the very first edition of the Uniform Probate Code in 1969. Just 16 total states embraced the whole Uniform Probate Code at the time of publication, including South Dakota and North Dakota, and only 10 states embraced the Uniform Probate Code’s section relating to enhanced estates. To help partners prevent complete disinheritance through their partner’s wills, lots of states allow partners to take optional shares or shares of at least one-third to one-half of their spouse’s total probate estate. The elective share and enhanced estate statutes permit states to secure the monetary wellness of spouses from unreasonable property distributions.

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