The New Year 1991 will bring in an entirely new system of property rights for surviving spouses in Virginia. As of the end of 1990, the centuries-old concepts of dower and curtesy will disappear from the Code of Virginia (the "Code"). The current will renunciation and spouse's election provisions of estate law also will be scrapped. House Bill No. 808 replaces those historic concepts with an "augmented estate" system modeled after the Uniform Probate Code (the "U.P.C."), but having several features unique to the Commonwealth. This article examines the mechanics of the new system, with particular emphasis on features that may require both conveyancers and estate planners to rethink traditional procedures and planning techniques.
J. W. Gray Jr.,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Augmented Estate System: An Overview,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol24/iss4/4