Spouses Excluded from Rhode Island Will

The Rhode Island probate practice and procedure statute provides minimum entitlements for spouses who have been excluded from their parent’s Rhode Island Will:
§ 33-10-1 Wearing apparel and exempt personal property allowed to widow or widower and children. – The wearing apparel of the widow or widower and minor children of a deceased person shall belong to them, respectively. The widow or widower shall be entitled, for herself or himself and for the family under her or his care, to such household effects, supplies, and, in addition thereto, such other personal property of the husband or wife exempt from attachment by law, as the probate court shall deem necessary, having regard to all the circumstances of the case; or, if there is no widow or widower the minor children shall be entitled to the household effects, or the use thereof, in such manner as the court shall direct. § 33-10-2 Property allowed not assets in hands of executor or administrator. – Such part of the personal property as the court shall allow to the widow, widower or family of the deceased, although inventoried, shall not be assets in the hands of the executor or administrator. § 33-10-3 Allowances for temporary support of family. – The probate court shall make reasonable allowance out of the estate of the deceased for the support of his or her family, until the support can otherwise be provided for, for a period not exceeding six (6) months from the date of the death, having regard to the situation of the family and the value and circumstances of the estate. The allowance may be fixed at any time upon application of the executor or administrator or of any party in interest, filed within six (6) months after the first publication of notice of the qualification of the executor or administrator. The court may, in its discretion, provided a final account has not been allowed, make an additional allowance under like conditions for the support of the family for a second period not exceeding six (6) months, the allowance to be fixed at any time after the first six (6) months period has passed and within one year after the first publication of notice of the qualification of the executor or administrator upon his or her application, or upon the application of any party in interest. After exhausting the personal property, real estate may be sold to provide the amount of allowance decreed in the same manner as for the payment of debts. An appeal from a decree granting letters testamentary or of administration shall not prevent the allowance being made by the probate court or the payment thereof. An appeal from a decree making any allowance shall not prevent the payment of the allowance if a bond in such amount as may be fixed by the court but no less than the amount of the allowance be given to the court by a widow or widower, if any, or by a guardian of the minor children in case there be no widow or widower, with surety or sureties approved by the court, and conditioned to repay all in excess of what is finally determined to be a reasonable allowance or to return all of the allowance in case the decree granting the allowance is finally reversed in the full amount. The bond required by the provisions of this section and the remedies thereon shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 17 of this title as far as the context thereof permits. § 33-10-4 Real estate set aside for support of widow or widower in addition to statutory life estate. – If there be no issue of a deceased person living at the time of his or her death, the probate court shall also allow and set off to the widow or widower such portion of the real estate of her or his deceased spouse not required for the payment of his or her debts as may be suitable for her or his situation and support and in accordance with the circumstances of the estate, and the widow or widower shall hold the real estate in addition to those rights afforded by chapter 25 of this title subject to the same conditions and for the same time as she or he holds her or his statutory estate pursuant to the provisions of chapter 25 of this title. § 33-25-2 Life estate to spouse. – (a) Whenever any person shall die leaving a husband or wife surviving, the real estate owned by the decedent in fee simple at his or her death shall descend and pass to the husband or wife for his or her natural life subject, however, to any encumbrances existing at death; provided that the liability, if any, of the decedent to discharge the encumbrance or encumbrances shall not be impaired. The provisions of §§ 33-1-1 and 33-1-2 shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and of § 33-1-6. (b) For purposes of this section, any real estate conveyed by the decedent prior to his or her death, with or without monetary consideration, shall not be subject to the life estate granted in subsection (a) if the instrument or instruments evidencing such conveyance were recorded in the records of land evidence in the city or town where the real estate is located prior to the death of the decedent. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that the instrument or instruments evidencing the conveyance must be recorded prior to the death of the decedent to be valid and thus not subject to the life estate contained herein.

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