NC Law Update On Spousal Year’s Allowance

If your spouse dies, were you aware that you are entitled to a year’s allowance?  Although this provision has been around for quite some time, the NC Legislature has recently updated this statute to increase a spousal allowance from $20,000 to $30,000, for decedent’s dying on or after January 1, 2014.

NCGS § 30-15 reads as follows:
“Every surviving spouse of an intestate or of a testator, whether or not the surviving spouse has petitioned for an elective share, shall, unless the surviving spouse has forfeited the surviving spouse’s right thereto, as provided by law, be entitled, out of the personal property of the deceased spouse, to an allowance of the value of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for the surviving spouse’s support for one year after the death of the deceased spouse. Such allowance shall be exempt from any lien, by judgment or execution, acquired against the property of the deceased spouse, and shall, in cases of testacy, be charged against the share of the surviving spouse.”

Basically, it does not matter whether or not the deceased has a Will, the surviving spouse will be entitled to a value of up to $30,000 off the top of the estate, and such funds will be excluded from creditor claims.  You will, of course, need to follow proper procedures to make sure your application is timely submitted and in accordance with other provisions of law.

See our previous post Important Change in the North Carolina Elective Share Statute to read about additional recent changes to NC law regarding surviving spouses of a person who dies intestate (without a will).