(1) In addition to the right to exempt property, the decedent's surviving spouse and minor children who the decedent was obligated to support and children who were in fact being supported by the decedent are entitled to a reasonable allowance in money out of the estate for their maintenance during the period of administration, which allowance may not continue for longer than one year if the estate is inadequate to discharge allowed claims. The allowance may be paid as a lump sum or in periodic installments. It is payable to the surviving spouse, if living, for the use of the surviving spouse and minor and dependent children; otherwise to the children, or persons having their care and custody. If a minor child or dependent child is not living with the surviving spouse, the allowance may be made partially to the child or his or her guardian or other person having the child's care and custody, and partially to the spouse, as their needs may appear. The family allowance is exempt from and has priority over all claims except claims for the costs and expenses of administration, and reasonable funeral and burial, interment, or cremation expenses, which shall be paid in the priority and manner set forth in section 15-12-805 .
(2) The family allowance is not chargeable against any benefit or share passing to the surviving spouse or children by the will of the decedent, unless otherwise provided, by intestate succession, or by way of elective-share. The death of any person entitled to a family allowance terminates the right to receive an allowance for any period arising after his or her death, but does not affect the right of his or her estate to recover the unpaid allowance for periods prior to his or her death.
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