When a deceased individual leaves a surviving spouse or domestic partner, there are possible processes available to transfer the deceased’s property to the spouse using a Spousal Property Petition. The Spousal Property Petition is much quicker and more affordable than a formal probate.
The Spousal Property Petition works best when the spouse is the only heir of the deceased’s estate. The deceased might have left no descendants or living parents. Or the deceased might have left a Will naming the spouse as the sole heir. Or the entire estate was held as community property or joint tenancy.
Even when the deceased left more heirs than just the spouse, a Spousal Property Petition might still prove to be a great tool to remove assets from the estate so other probate alternatives might become available for the other heirs.
A Spousal Property Petition requires the surviving spouse to file a petition with the court. After a hearing date is set, notice of the hearing is sent to anyone who might have a conflicting interest, including those named in a Will or who would otherwise claim property under intestacy.
At the hearing, the court considers the evidence and allegations as to whether to issue an order transferring all or part of the deceased’s estate to the spouse. Anyone is permitted to come forward to object to the issuance of the order. If the judge issues the order, the spouse needs to use the signed order to collect any property that is the subject of the petition. For real estate, the order is recorded with the county recorder wherever the property is located.
In trying to determine whether a Spousal Property Petition is an appropriate option to settle the estate of a deceased individual, it is best to speak with a skilled probate professional. Contact Yeager Law APC if you have any questions about using a Spousal Property Petition.