Can one spouse override the will of the other spouse?

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can one spouse override the will of the other spouse?

If one bequeaths something to one’s spouse in their Will, which upon the spouse’s death should transfer to the children, can the spouse override the Will and decide to bequeath those goods to someone else? Could you point me to some kind of law on this issue?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Estate Planning, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Spouses living in a community property state cannot gift away more than one half of their own interests in the community assets of the marriage. So with that being said, a surviving spouse whose interests in the community property beyond the 50% owned by him or her can contest a Will or trust where the first spouse gave away more than his or her share in the community.

Likewise, one spouse cannot give away the separate property of another in a Will or trust. In the above examples there can then be a Will or trust contest by the surviving spouse. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption