Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, January 10, 2011

Elizabeth Edwards May Not Have Disinherited Her Husband

Elizabeth Edwards I previously posted that Elizabeth Edwards’ will left nothing to her husband, John Edwards. While it is true that her will does not mention John when distributing her tangible personal property, Article V of her will leaves the remainder of her estate to a revocable trust she created in 1992. This trust is private, so it is unclear whether Elizabeth disinherited her estranged husband.

If she truly did leave him out, North Carolina’s elective share statute, N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 30-3.1(a)(3) allows John to recover one-third of Elizabeth’s Total Net Assets.

Special thanks to David Frankstone (attorney, NC) and Melanie Leslie (Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law) for bringing this to my attention.


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I see you don't read comments on your posts, since I noted that exact same thing.

Ah, well.

Posted by: jpe | Jan 10, 2011 6:22:12 AM

Note, even if J.E. got everything in the trust, he still might be able to claim an elective share against the personal property if the trust was already funded; that's how my state works anyway. Alternately, if J.E. got nothing in the trust, he still might just be limited to a share of the tangible personal property or the trust property might be included too, again depending on NC law.

Posted by: Matt | Jan 12, 2011 9:22:02 AM

By the way, elective share planning also a big reason to see an estate planner.

Posted by: Matt | Jan 12, 2011 9:24:07 AM

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