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San Jose Community Property Attorneys

Divorce, Marriage and Estate Planning

Marriage and divorce can impact your rights and your estate. Whether you are entering a first marriage, a second marriage, or facing divorce, you can make appropriate adjustments to protect your interests and ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes. The community property attorneys of the Campbell Law Office are experienced estate planners and probate attorneys. We will take the time to understand your situation and develop a comprehensive estate plan to meet your needs. No matter how complex your estate may be, we are prepared to assist you. 

Community Property in California

In California, property can be held between spouses in a form of title known as community property. If title is held in community property, it qualifies for a limited court proceeding called a spousal set-aside that avoids a complete probate. Community property has been used increasingly as a form of holding title in California. Couples can avoid probate if the assets are passed to the surviving spouse. Unlike joint tenancy, if either spouse wants their share of the community assets to go to someone other than the surviving spouse, they may bequeath their interest by will to someone else.

The major advantage of holding title as community property is that at the death of either the husband or the wife, the survivor receives a 100 percent step-up in basis for income tax purposes. See explanation under joint tenancy. Holding title as community property can also avoid probate.

It is possible for spouses to agree that separate property - property owned solely by one spouse - will be considered community property. The spouse who transfers separate property to the community will have made a gift of one-half of that property to their spouse. This can be an effective estate planning tool in minimizing estate taxes, however, it can have serious consequences in the event of a divorce.

There is not a "one size fits all" approach to estate planning. Your circumstances are unique and will be addressed accordingly at the Campbell Law Office. Of course our attorneys and support team will rely on their experience but we will also take the time to develop an estate plan or other legal remedy that is tailor-made for you. 

Free Consultations with a Community Property Attorney

For a free consultation with estate planning lawyers experienced with community property issues, call 408-277-0648 or contact us by e-mail.

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