A Year’s Support award is a permanent ward of property from a decedent’s estate to the decedent’s surviving spouse, surviving minor children, or both. The “Year” in Year’s Support refers to the amount not the duration of the award. The award is supposed to be an amount sufficient enough to provide for the surviving spousal and/or minor children for one (1) year. If no objection is filed however, the amount awarded can be greater. The surviving spouse of the decedent can petition for Year’s Support unless he or she has re-married after the decedent’s death. The decedent’s minor child (ran) may apply for Year’s Support if the following conditions are met:
- A child must be under age 18.
- The child must not be married
- he child must be the child to the decedent. (This includes adopted children or children born out of wedlock but do NOT include step-children of the decedent.)
A minor child’s parent, legal guardian, or guardian ad litem may file on behalf of the child.
A Year’s Support may be granted whether or not the decedent had a will.
In order to receive Year’s Support, the spouse or child(ren) must file a petition within 24 months of the decedent’s death. This petition must be filed in the Probate Court of the county in which the decedent was domiciled at death.
After the petition is filed, the Probate Court will publish notice of the filing of the Petition in the county newspaper. The court will also mail a copy of the petition to certain interested parties identified in the petition. If any of these persons are minors or incapacitated adults, the Court will appoint a guardian ad litem.
It any objections to the Petition are filed, the Probate Court will hold a hearing to determine how much property, if any, will be awarded as Year’s Support. If no objection is filed, the Probate Court will award the property requested in the petition. The Probate Court may make separate awards of property to the surviving spouse and to the minor child(ren).
Stephen Hagler LLC, Attorney at Law has been creating wills, and assisting families in the process of probating or administering estates, filing Year’s Support, and establishing guardianships and conservatorships since 1991. Please give him a call and he will be glad to meet with you and answer any questions you may have.