Will and Trust Contests

Separate Property Claims

California is a community property state. This means that all property acquired during marriage is presumptively community property unless it is acquired by gift, inheritance, or earned from separate property sources.

There is value in understanding which property is separate for purposes of estate planning and administration. Community property presumptively passes to one’s spouse, while separate property is divided between the decedent’s spouse and their children. At times, one spouse may believe that certain property is their separate property, while the other spouse may believe it is community. This can result in surprising outcomes after a spouse’s death, where the surviving spouses loses all or most of the assets that they rely on for their livelihood.

In estate planning, it is important for both spouses to understand the difference between their separate and community property and to properly plan for the disposition of each. In Trust and Estate litigation, the surviving spouse often needs to enforce their community property interests against a deceased spouse who has given away all of the family’s assets. Klinedinst’s Probate and Trust attorneys can help you to ensure that your separate and community property interests are protected and to enforce your separate or community property rights after the death of a spouse.

Will and Trust Contests

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Undue Influence Claims

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