Understanding & Signing the
Community Property Agreement
A Community Property Agreement Is Included At Your Request
As part of your intake packet you were asked if you would like to complete a community property agreement — where we also covered this issue in detail. Thus at your request (unless you declined the option) your married living trust package includes a community property agreement. If you have forgotten or are confused it is very important that you revisit and review this issue before signing this document. (Click here to review the community property issue).
This Document Legally Clarifies That You Consider All Of Your Assets Community Property (1/2 Each, Death or Divorce)
Generally with this document (unless there are exceptions noted) you are legally agreeing that you consider all of your assets comment property. That is 1/2 each death or divorce. This document is legally enforceable in court, so if you are the least bit hesitant or confused about the legal implications you should decline to sign this document (see below).
Why Most Couples Are Eager To Sign A Community Property Agreement
As discussed in your paperwork, the purpose of a community property agreement is to help secure the double stepped-up basis available to community property assets. It simultaneously overrides Joint-Tenancy designations and helps satisfy the IRS written requirements to qualify for this benefit. Again, this one page agreement often ends up being the single most valuable and beneficial document a married couple signs in the estate planning process.
Any Spouse Confused or Concerned About Preserving Potential Separate Property Rights Should NOT Sign This Document
Yet we repeat our warning that there are still some that should decline a community property agreement. More particularly, any spouse remotely concerned about preserving potential separate property rights should decline to sign such an agreement because it will legally override those separate property rights, and we don’t want anyone regretting that — most especially in the event of a divorce. Thus, if you are the slightest bit hesitant or uneasy with this issue you should decline to sign this document and consult a family lawyer.
If You Are Comfortable You Are Welcome To Sign The Community Property Agreement You Asked Us To Provide
For those that are fully comfortable with this issue, we are happy to give you the opportunity to qualify for this valuable tax benefit. Assuming you wish to proceed, you should sign and date your community property agreement right away.
Always Double Check The Notary
Again,when you have this document notarized, make sure that the notary stamps, fills in and signs all parts of the notarial area.