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Uniform Probate Code

The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) was created to modernize probate law and probate administration and to encourage the uniformity probate code in all fifty states. The UPC has been amended numerous times and has been adopted in its entirety by sixteen states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah. Although the other thirty-four states have adopted parts of the UPC, so far it has not succeeded in providing the uniform body once envisioned to provide a common set of procedural probate laws.

The UPC specifies the rights of a surviving spouse (husband or wife) when their spouse passes without a will. The rights state: If there are no parents, children, or grandchildren of the deceased spouse, the surviving one inherits the estate; if a parent survives, the surviving spouse inherits the first $50,000, then splits the remaining half of the estate with the parent(s); if a child or grandchild survives, the surviving spouse inherits the first $50,000, then splits the remaining half of the estate with the child or grandchild.

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