Indiana Code Title 29. Probate § 29-1-3-1

Sec. 1 . (a) When a married individual dies testate as to any part of the individual's estate, the surviving spouse is entitled to take against the will under the limitations and conditions stated in this chapter.  The surviving spouse, upon electing to take against the will, is entitled to one-half ( 1/2 ) of the net personal and real estate of the testator.  However, if the surviving spouse is a second or other subsequent spouse who did not at any time have children by the decedent and the decedent left surviving a child or children or the descendants of a child or children by a previous spouse, the surviving second or subsequent childless spouse shall upon such election take one-third ( 1/3 ) of the net personal estate of the testator plus an amount equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the remainder of:

(1) the fair market value as of the date of death of the real property of the testator;  minus

(2) the value of the liens and encumbrances on the real property of the testator.

In determining the net estate of a deceased spouse for the purpose of computing the amount due the surviving spouse electing to take against the will, the court shall consider only such property as would have passed under the laws of descent and distribution.

(b) When the value of the property given the surviving spouse under the will is less than the amount the surviving spouse would receive by electing to take against the will, the surviving spouse may elect to retain any or all specific bequests or devises given to the surviving spouse in the will at their fair market value as of the time of the decedent's death and receive the balance due in cash or property.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (b), in electing to take against the will, the surviving spouse is deemed to renounce all rights and interest of every kind and character in the personal and real property of the deceased spouse, and to accept the elected award in lieu thereof.

(d) When a surviving spouse elects to take against the will, the surviving spouse shall be deemed to take by descent, as a modified share, the part of the net estate as does not come to the surviving spouse by the terms of the will.  Where by virtue of an election pursuant to this chapter it is determined that the surviving spouse has renounced the surviving spouse's rights in any devise, either in trust or otherwise, the will shall be construed with respect to the property so devised to the surviving spouse as if the surviving spouse had predeceased the testator.


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