Definition - What does Family Allowance mean?
Family allowance refers to a small, particular amount of money which immediate family member(s) of the deceased are entitled to receive. This usually occurs at the start of the probate process, and requires an order from the judge.
Justipedia explains Family Allowance
The main aim of the allowance is to provide for and support the day-to-day needs of the children, if any, and surviving spouse throughout the time it takes to properly probate the estate. The amount of family allowance is subject to state laws.