Community Property Agreements under California Law
Estate Planning Attorneys Serving Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino County
Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger, A Law Corporation is your law firm for community property agreements in Riverside County, California.
What is a Community Property Agreement?
A community property agreement is a binding contract between spouses which designates all of their assets (generally excluding IRAs, pensions, and other tax-deferred assets) as “community property” under California law. This serves two primary purposes:
- Along with other appropriate estate planning documents, it helps ensure that all of your marital property is transferred to your spouse at the time of death.
- It can substantially reduce the tax consequences for your estate and your beneficiaries.
However, designating assets as community property can also have implications in other situations – such as divorce – and it can significantly impact other aspects of your estate plan. As a result, when considering use of a community property agreement, it is critical to speak with an experienced legal advisor who can make sure that the agreement is specifically tailored to your unique personal circumstances.
Experienced Representation for California Community Property Agreements
At Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger, A Law Corporation, our team of estate planning attorneys is led by a Bar-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. We have many decades of experience helping clients evaluate their estate planning options and drafting customized documents that serve our clients’ immediate and long-term needs.
In the absence of a community property agreement, California law generally allocates ownership of marital property as follows:
- Assets acquired prior to the marriage are retained by their individual owners;
- Assets acquired during the marriage are community property (both spouses have equal ownership interests), except;
- Assets acquired by gift, inheritance, or bequest during the marriage remain the sole property of their recipient.
A community property agreement provides for all of the couple’s assets to fall into the second category (or otherwise be allocated differently than described above), as permitted by California law. But, it is important to understand that this alone does not address all of the issues that likely precipitated discussion of the agreement. Title to real estate, rights of survivorship, and external tax implications will all still need to be addressed. We will guide you through the process and take all of the necessary steps to ensure seamless execution of your estate plan.
Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney at Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger, A Law Corporation
If you are considering incorporating a community property agreement into your estate plan, please contact us today. Located in Palm Springs, we serve clients throughout Riverside County, CA.