§ 64.2-309. Family allowance.
A. In addition to any other right or allowance under this article, upon the death of a decedent who was domiciled in the Commonwealth, the surviving spouse and minor children whom the decedent was obligated to support are entitled to a reasonable allowance in money out of the estate for their maintenance during the period of administration, which allowance shall not continue for longer than one year if the estate is inadequate to discharge all allowed claims. The family allowance may be paid as a lump sum not to exceed $24,000, or in periodic installments not to exceed $2,000 per month for one year. It is payable to the surviving spouse for the use of the surviving spouse and minor children or, if there is no surviving spouse, to the person having the care and custody of the minor children. If any minor child is not living with the surviving spouse, the family allowance may be made partially to the spouse and partially to the person having the care and custody of the child, as their needs may appear. If there are no minor children, the allowance is payable to the surviving spouse.
B. The family allowance has priority over all claims against the estate.
C. The family allowance is in addition to any benefit or share passing to the surviving spouse or minor children by the will of the decedent, by intestate succession, or by way of elective share.
D. The death of any person entitled to a family allowance terminates the person's right to any allowance not yet paid.
1981, c. 580, §§ 64.1-151.1, 64.1-151.4; 1987, c. 222; 1990, c. 831; 1996, c. 549; 2001, c. 368; 2012, c. 614; 2014, c. 532.