Mass. General Laws c.190B § 2-404

Discretionary family allowance

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This is an unofficial version of a Massachusetts General Law.

Section 2-404

(a) In addition to the right to exempt property, the decedent's surviving spouse and minor children whom 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 1 year if the estate is inadequate to discharge allowed claims. This discretionary family 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 discretionary family allowance may be made partially to the child or the child's guardian or other person having the child's care and custody, and partially to the spouse, as their needs may appear. The discretionary family allowance is exempt from and has priority over all unsecured claims.

(b) The discretionary 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 discretionary family allowance terminates the right to allowances not yet paid.

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