Widow's Allowance

DEFINITION of 'Widow's Allowance'

An allowance of funds and/or personal property received by a widow after her husband's death to meet her immediate requirements. The amount of the allowance is decided by statute or court and is meant to protect the widow and family of a deceased person from financial hardship during administration of the deceased's estate.

BREAKING DOWN 'Widow's Allowance'

The amount of the widow's allowance is either fixed by statute or, more commonly, determined by probate court on the basis of the deceased person's estate and the family's standard of living. Under most circumstances, the widow's allowance is likely to be higher if the deceased was wealthy and left behind a large estate than if the family had a modest standard of living and the size of the estate is modest.

RELATED TERMS
  1. IRS Publication 559: Survivors, ...

    A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that ...
  2. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that ...
  3. Qualified Widow Or Widower

    The least common of the five types of tax filing status each ...
  4. Personal Representative

    The executor or administrator for the estate of a deceased person. ...
  5. Deceased Alert

    A notification on a person's credit report that alerts credit ...
  6. Taxable Estate

    The total value of a deceased person's assets that are subject ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Understanding the Widow’s Exemption

    A widow’s exemption generally refers to the amount a widow can deduct from her taxable income to reduce her tax burden.
  2. Your Practice

    Top Tips for Retaining Widowed Clients

    These tips should help keep your widowed clients safely in your book of business for years to come.
  3. Personal Finance

    Want Your Will to Prevail? Don't Die Intestate

    If you die without making a last will and testament, you are said to have died intestate. What happens to your assets in this case?
  4. Taxes

    Estate Planning for a Surviving Spouse

    Estate planning for surviving spouses can be difficult for a number of reasons, so it's important to have good support and financial advice.
  5. Your Clients

    How to Help Single Clients Plan for Retirement

    Financial planning often focuses on married couples, but there are lots of unmarried folks who need advice from financial advisors, as well.
  6. Financial Advisors

    How to Strategize for Newly-Single Clients

    The loss of a spouse is a major life change. During this period, advisors have an opportunity to ensure a client's smooth transition to financial success.
  7. Retirement

    How To Choose The Right Executor For Your Estate

    Making a careful choice now can save your heirs from a lot of problems later.
  8. Your Clients

    A Guide to Social Security Dependent Benefits

    Advisors and their clients tend to focus on Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security also offers dependent benefits. Here's how they work.
  9. Personal Finance

    The Benefits And Pitfalls Of Joint Tenancy

    This arrangement allows beneficiaries to access your account without having to go to court.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Do "Widow And Orphan" Stocks Still Exist?

    Is there such a thing as a safe stock providing high dividend income? It may be time to redefine the terms "widows" and "orphans."
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does a qualifying widow obtain widow's allowance?

    Discover how a widow becomes eligible to claim a qualifying widow federal tax filing status and how she can obtain a widow's ... Read Answer >>
  2. What tax breaks are afforded to a qualifying widow?

    Understand the special qualifying widow/widower status, the requirements for this filing status and the special tax benefits ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are the requirements to file a tax return as a qualifying widow?

    Learn about the qualifying widow/widower tax filing status, and how an individual qualifies for using this special tax status ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do Social Security benefits for widows or widowers work?

    Understand the basics of survivor's benefits for spouses of deceased workers, when you can begin collecting and how your ... Read Answer >>
  5. Can my spouse and children collect my Social Security when I die?

    Under survivor benefits, Social Security provides income for the families of workers who die. If you die, certain family ... Read Answer >>
  6. When does the statute of limitations clock start on my debts?

    Learn how states treat statutes of limitation on consumer debts, and find out what it means if the statute of limitations ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Goodwill

    An account that can be found in the assets portion of a company's balance sheet. Goodwill can often arise when one company ...
  2. Return On Invested Capital - ROIC

    A calculation used to assess a company's efficiency at allocating the capital under its control to profitable investments. ...
  3. Law Of Demand

    A microeconomic law that states that, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, consumer ...
  4. Cost Of Debt

    The effective rate that a company pays on its current debt. This can be measured in either before- or after-tax returns; ...
  5. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  6. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
Trading Center