A “Trust Transfer Deed” that purportedly granted husband’s interest in real property to wife failed to accomplish a transmutation.
Pursuant to Family Code section 852(a) a transmutation is not valid unless made in writing by an express declaration by the party adversely affected. To satisfy the “express declaration” requirement the writing must state on its face that the characterization or ownership of the property is being changed. Extrinsic evidence is not permitted to prove an ambiguous writing. Therefore, the express declaration must unambiguously indicate a change in character or ownership of property for a valid transmutation. Continue reading
The Court of Appeals determines that a standard interspousal transfer grant deed (ITGD) meets the requirements for a transmutation of the character of marital property under Family Code section 852.
Section 852 provides in pertinent part: “(a) A transmutation of real or personal property is not valid unless made in writing by an express declaration that is made, joined in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected.” Continue reading
The California Supreme Court reverses the Court of Appeal and holds that when community funds are used to purchase life insurance, the life insurance policy is community property—irrespective of who is named owner of the policy—unless the statutory requirements for transmutation are met. The case is Valli v. Valli. Continue reading