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2009

Law Faculty Scholarship

North Carolina

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The Unmerry Widow: Spousal Disinheritance And Life Insurance In North Carolina, Jeffrey S. Kinsler Jan 2009

The Unmerry Widow: Spousal Disinheritance And Life Insurance In North Carolina, Jeffrey S. Kinsler

Law Faculty Scholarship

In spite of our nation’s long-held public policy of protecting surviving spouses, some people purposely disinherit their spouses. For centuries, North Carolina more or less tolerated intentional spousal disinheritance. In 1959, in an effort to protect surviving spouses from deliberate disinheritance, North Carolina adopted a “right of dissent” statute that authorized a surviving spouse to renounce the decedent spouse’s will and receive a statutorily prescribed share (ranging from one-sixth to one-half) of the decedent spouse’s probate estate. Because the dissent statute was limited to the decedent spouse’s probate estate, it was easily circumvented through the use ...