Under Wyoming law, a surviving spouse has a right of election to take against the will an elective share of the property subject to disposition under the will, reduced by funeral and administration expenses, homestead allowance, family allowances and exemption, and enforceable claims.  Wyo. Stat. § 2-5-101.

The elective share that a surviving spouse is entitled to take is either:

  • One-half (1/2) if there are no surviving issue of the decedent, or if the surviving spouse is also a parent of any of the surviving issue of the decedent; or
  • One-fourth (1/4), if the surviving spouse is not the parent of any surviving issue of the decedent.

Wyo. Stat. § 2-5-101.

As noted above, a surviving spouse may be entitled to homestead allowance, family allowances and other exemptions.

It is important for a surviving spouse to be mindful of the short deadlines in Wyoming probate.  For example, a surviving spouse, or a personal representative or guardian of the estate of a deceased or incompetent surviving spouse must exercise his or her right of election to take the elective share within three (3) months after the admission of the will to probate or within thirty (30) days after being advised of the right of election, whichever is later.  Wyo. Stat. § 2-5-105.

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