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What Is a Surviving Spouse Entitled to Receive Under Maryland’s Elective Share Statute?

Maryland’s Elective Share Statute was designed to prevent a surviving spouse from being disinherited. House Bill 99, signed by Governor Hogan in 2019, expanded the assets included in calculating what a surviving spouse could inherit.


Under the previous bill, only probate assets were subject to the elective share statute. Under the augmented statute, non-probate assets, such as jointly owned real estate, joint retirement accounts, life insurance, or assets held in trust, are included when calculating the value of the decedent’s assets.


A surviving spouse can elect to take what is left to them in the decedent’s will, or claim the elective share. By claiming the elective share, a surviving spouse would receive a fixed amount based on the value of the decedent’s probate and non-probate assets.


For a free, confidential conversation to discuss this and other estate administration matters, including probate administration legal services and estate planning, contact Maryland probate administration lawyer Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959 or


Mr. Reichert personally serves clients throughout the entire state of Maryland, and he looks forward to assisting you with your Maryland probate needs.