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Basic KentuckyProbate Guide
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Spouses of a deceased person, still married at the time of the spouse's death, have special rights of inheritance. The legal terms for these rights are "dower," for a surviving wife, and "curtesy," for s surviving husband. These days the terms are interchangeable. (KRS 392.010) Husbands and wives, men and women, and same-sex or opposite sex spouses, all have the same right to inherit the other spouse's estate property.
The rules of inheritance for surviving spouses remain the same if there is a will, or if not. A will may give a surviving spouse more than that spouse would receive under the rules of spousal inheritance, but generally a will may not give less. A surviving spouse has the statutory right to renounce the provisions of a will and opt to receive the spousal share instead, as if there were no will.
In the most general terms, a surviving spouse is entitled to receive one-half of all real and personal property that is part of the deceased spouse's estate. In particular circumstances, application of the various rules can become complicated.