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In California, a spousal petition allows property to be transferred from one deceased spouse to the surviving spouse. Under California Probate Code, any surviving spouse or representative of the estate can file a spousal petition. A surviving domestic partner is also eligible to file for the spousal petition.
If the decedent spouse has died after signing a will, and the surviving spouse is the beneficiary, all of the property that is included in the will can simply be passed on to the surviving spouse through this petition. However, if the bill includes a number of other beneficiaries besides the surviving spouse, then the spouse can use the spousal petition to transfer the assets to him or her. The assets that are to be passed on to the other beneficiaries will be eligible for probate.
However, if a decedent dies without creating a will, things can become very complicated. In cases such as this, the property that would have been passed on to the surviving spouse, typically limited to the community property, can pass on to him or her through a Spousal Property Petition. Full probate will be necessary, however, in order to transfer the separate property to the surviving spouse.
To learn more about the spousal petition process, call Citadel Law Corporation at (800) 662-0882 to set up a consultation.
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