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Is there an option to secure a property as community property after an interspousal transfer grant deed has been signed?

Healdsburg, CA |

The property is in California. The deed was signed because of lender's suggestion. The property was never in both our names. The interspousal transfer grant deed was signed the day after the loan was approved. As a surviving spouse, I would like to file a spousal property petition but was told I couldn't if the property is separate and not community property.

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Attorney answers 3


Not sure what you mean by a inter-spousal petition. ? If you transferred to now deceased spouse are you asking whether you have any interest in that property? Re post clarifying what exactly are you asking. Typically if lender requires a quit claim deed by married borrowers it is followed by a transfer back. Hard to try to address your inquiry.

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I think I understand what you are asking. First, let me lay out the facts as I understand them. You and your spouse purchased a property in California. At the time the property was purchased, the lender approved the loan in only your spouse's name and therefore, required you to sign an interspousal transfer grant deed to disclaim any community property interest in the property at the time the property was financed. This is done so that the lender doesn't encounter problems if they have to foreclose in the future due to claims by you (the spouse not on title) that you have a community property interest. The deed you signed was intended to do exactly the opposite of what you now want - at the time it disclaimed on your part, any community property interest in the property. As such, you cannot now easily transfer the property into your name. You are going to have to open a probate proceeding (assuming the property was never put in both names as joint tenants or community property, or into a trust) and obtain a court order to acquire title to the property. Unfortunately, after the loan closed escrow, your late spouse should have executed a deed putting the property into both names, as either community property or joint tenants. In that case, you could have potentially avoided probate to now put the property into your name only. I am sorry for your loss, and the further frustration that this is going to cause. I encourage you to contact a local attorney who handles probate matters.

David L. Gibbs, Esq.
The Gibbs Law Firm, APC
San Clemente, California

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Serious problem unless you can trace community assets went into the purchase.

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It's just the house, the property in question.

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