§ 33-25-2. Life estate to spouse.
(a) Whenever any person shall die leaving a husband or wife surviving, the real estate owned by the decedent in fee simple at his or her death shall descend and pass to the husband or wife for his or her natural life subject, however, to any encumbrances existing at death; provided that the liability, if any, of the decedent to discharge the encumbrance or encumbrances shall not be impaired. The provisions of §§ 33-1-1 and 33-1-2 shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter and of § 33-1-6.
(b) For purposes of this section, any real estate conveyed by the decedent prior to his or her death, with or without monetary consideration, shall not be subject to the life estate granted in subsection (a) if the instrument or instruments evidencing such conveyance were recorded in the records of land evidence in the city or town where the real estate is located prior to the death of the decedent. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that the instrument or instruments evidencing the conveyance must be recorded prior to the death of the decedent to be valid and thus not subject to the life estate contained herein.
(P.L. 1978, ch. 26, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 444, § 1.)