2015 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 45a - Probate Courts and Procedure
Chapter 802b - Decedents’ Estates
Section 45a-320 - (Formerly Sec. 45-250). Allowance for support of surviving spouse and family. Family car.

CT Gen Stat § 45a-320 (2015) What's This?

(a) The Court of Probate may allow out of any real or personal estate of a deceased person in settlement before such court, including a small estate being settled under the provisions of section 45a-273, such amount as it may judge necessary for the support of the surviving spouse or family of the deceased during the settlement of the estate.

(b) In making such allowance the court may in its discretion include in its decree ordering such allowance any one or more of the following provisions, to the extent they are not mutually inconsistent: (1) A provision that such allowance shall run (A) for the entire period the estate is in settlement, or (B) for a fixed period of time not to exceed the period of settlement, in which case such allowance shall be subject to renewal by the court in its discretion; (2) a provision that such allowance is to be paid in a lump sum; (3) a provision that such an allowance made for a surviving spouse shall vest in such spouse retroactively as of the moment of death of his spouse so that it will be a fixed sum certain as of said date of death and shall not terminate with the subsequent death or remarriage of the surviving spouse, such allowance to be the absolute property of the surviving spouse, or, if deceased, of the estate of such surviving spouse, without restriction as to use, encumbrance or disposition and for the purpose of this section, the right to seek such a vested allowance shall be a vested right as of the date of death of the deceased spouse, and (4) a provision that such allowance shall be charged ultimately in whole or in part against any right the surviving spouse or other family member for whom an allowance is ordered may have to the income of the estate earned during the period of settlement.

(c) The court may also allow for the use during the settlement of the estate by such surviving spouse or family of any motor vehicle maintained by the decedent during his lifetime as a family car.

(1949 Rev., S. 7033; 1955, S. 2940d; 1957, P.A. 471; 1961, P.A. 370; 1963, P.A. 309; 1967, P.A. 130; P.A. 88-107, S. 2.)

History: 1961 act added provisions re vested rights of surviving spouse and re consideration of allowed support amount as absolute property of surviving spouse payable in a lump sum; 1963 act deleted provisions added by 1961 act, designated remaining existing provisions as Subsecs. (a) and (c) and inserted new Subsec. (b) re court’s discretionary rulings governing allowances; 1967 act clarified Subsec. (b)(3) vesting allowance and right to seek such allowance as of the date of death of spouse; P.A. 88-107 amended Subsec. (a) by permitting court to allow amount for support of surviving spouse and family to be taken out of small estate being settled under provisions of Sec. 45-266; Sec. 45-250 transferred to Sec. 45a-320 in 1991.

Annotations to former section 45-250:

Wherever adequate provision for support is otherwise made, allowance not to be granted. 19 C. 418. Allowance cannot be attached in hands of administrator. 55 C. 118. Wife may by antenuptial contract debar herself from right to allowance. 66 C. 135. Order for allowance construed. 69 C. 694. Antenuptial agreement construed as relinquishment of this right. 74 C. 26. Former statute did not permit allowance to husband from estate of wife. 91 C. 76. Abandonment as defeating right to allowance for support. 107 C. 106. Expenditures held not to come within scope of statute. Id., 541. Cited. 130 C. 60. Award not contrary to statute. 139 C. 652. Discretion rests in Probate Court as to amount of allowance and on appeal such an award cannot be changed except for an abuse of such discretion; “necessary” does not restrict the allowance to bare subsistence. 147 C. 656. The marriage of a woman to her uncle in Italy, though valid there, not valid in this state and therefore she cannot qualify as a “surviving spouse” within the meaning of section. 148 C. 288. Cited. 184 C. 602.

Probate Court may make an allowance for support of widower, notwithstanding his election to take a statutory share in his wife’s estate; history of section reviewed. 20 CS 87.

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