What is Exempt Property?
The Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (MUPC) became effective as of March 31, 2012.
The MUPC contains certain family protection provisions meant to assist with the immediate support of surviving spouses and children. One such family protection provision is the exempt property statute (not to be confused with the discretionary family allowance). Under § 2-403(b) of the MUPC, the surviving spouse has the right to remain rent-free in the decedent’s house for six months after the decedent’s death.
Under § 2-403(a), the surviving spouse, or children if there is no surviving spouse, are entitled to up to $10,000 of exempt property from the decedent’s probate estate. The $10,000 first comes from "household furniture, automobiles, furnishings, appliances and personal effects." Also, under § 2-403(a), "these rights are in addition to any benefit or share passing to the surviving spouse or children by the decedent's will, unless otherwise provided, or intestate succession, or by way of elective share." However, under § 2-405, "[i]f the estate is otherwise sufficient, property specifically devised may not be used to satisfy rights to exempt property."
Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice as this is a complicated area of the law.
The author Brigitte von Weiss of VON WEISS LAW OFFICE is an estate planning lawyer and elder law attorney serving clients in Easton, MA, as well as nearby towns and cities, including Abington, MA, Attleboro, MA, Avon, MA, Bridgewater, MA, Brockton, MA, Canton, MA, East Bridgewater, MA, Foxboro, MA, Mansfield, MA, North Attleboro, MA, Norwood, MA, Norton, MA, Plainville, MA, Randolph, MA, Raynham, MA, Rehoboth, MA, Rockland, MA, Sharon, MA, Stoughton, MA, Walpole, MA, West Bridgewater, MA, and Whitman, MA.
Brigitte, a graduate of Boston College School of Nursing and an honors graduate of Loyola University of Chicago Law School, stands out from other elder law and estate planning attorneys in that she worked as a registered nurse for four years and earned a Master of Science in Taxation with high distinction from Bentley College. This unique combination of legal, nursing and taxation backgrounds enables Brigitte to provide outstanding legal guidance to her clients in their time of need. Call (508) 238-3005 for a free phone conversation with Brigitte to learn if she can help. You also may reach her through her website at www.vonweisslaw.com.