Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law 5-1.2
EPTL 5-1.2: Disqualification as surviving spouse
Disqualification as surviving spouse
A husband or wife is a surviving spouse within the meaning, and for the purposes of 4-1.1, 5-1.1, 5-1.1-A, 5-1.3, 5-3.1 and 5-4.4, unless it is established satisfactorily to the court having jurisdiction of the action or proceeding that:
(1) A final decree or judgment of divorce, of annulment or declaring the nullity of a marriage or dissolving such marriage on the ground of absence, recognized as valid under the law of this state, was in effect when the deceased spouse died.
(2) The marriage was void as incestuous under section five of the domestic relations law, bigamous under section six thereof, or a prohibited remarriage under section eight thereof.
(3) The spouse had procured outside of this state a final decree or judgment of divorce from the deceased spouse, of annulment or declaring the nullity of the marriage with the deceased spouse or dissolving such marriage on the ground of absence, not recognized as valid under the law of this state.
(4) A final decree or judgment of separation, recognized as valid under the law of this state, was rendered against the spouse, and such decree or judgment was in effect when the deceased spouse died.
(5) The spouse abandoned the deceased spouse, and such abandonment continued until the time of death.
(6) A spouse who, having the duty to support the other spouse, failed or refused to provide for such spouse though he or she had the means or ability to do so, unless such marital duty was resumed and continued until the death of the spouse having the need of support.
This section of the EPTL is provided as part of a free educational service by J. Douglas Barics, attorney at law for reference only. Statutes and codes such as EPTL 5-1.2 are frequently amended, and no representation is made that the above version of EPTL 5-1.2 is current. Updated statutes and codes may be available at the New York State Legislature Website. No statute should be relied on without understanding controlling case law which may further interpret it. An attorney should be consulted for legal advice.
J. Douglas Barics, Esq. – Divorce, family, matrimonial, trial and appeals lawyer in Long Island, New York.