Section 3-206 imposes a time limit for the election; it shall be made no later than nine months after the date of decedent’s death or six months after the first after the date of the first appointment of a personal representative under a will. Md. Code Ann., Est. & Trusts § 3-206. This time may be extended by the Court “before its expiration, for a period not to exceed three months at a time, upon notice given to the personal representative and for good cause shown.” Id.
Section 3-207 instructs that the election to take the spousal share shall be in writing signed by the surviving spouse or “other person entitled to make the election.” The other person must be entitled pursuant § 3-204, which states:
“The right of election of a surviving spouse is personal to him. It is not transferable and cannot be exercised subsequent to his death. If the surviving spouse is under 18 years of age or under disability, the election may be exercised by order of the court having jurisdiction of the person or property of the spouse or person under disability.”
Note that it is possible that the elective share right may be an available resource for Medicaid purposes. Accordingly, Medicaid rules may effectively force a family to seek a court order electing spousal rights in cases where otherwise such property would be protected within the family.