Keeping Current—Probate offers a look at selected recent cases, literature, and legislation. The editors of Probate & Property welcome suggestions and contributions from readers.
ELECTIVE SHARE: Marriage procured through undue influence does not allow elective share. A husband with residences in Maryland and Florida died in Florida. His daughter from a prior marriage offered his will for probate in Maryland, where he had lived for many years, and also petitioned for ancillary probate in Florida where he owned real property. His wife objected to the grant of probate on the ground that the decedent was domiciled in Florida at death and filed an election to take an elective share of his estate in the Maryland proceeding. The Maryland Orphan’s Court found that the decedent was domiciled in Maryland and that the wife procured the marriage by undue influence. Therefore, the court barred her from taking the elective share under Fla. Stat. § 732.805(a)(a). The appellate court held that Florida statute did not apply because the decedent was not domiciled in Florida but barred the wife from taking an elective share by the doctrine of unclean hands based on procurement of marriage by undue influence. In re Watkins, 209 A.3d 135 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2019).