In addition, only nine states are communal jurisdictions that recognize common property rights. Therefore, if a couple who has entered into a collective real estate contract owns property in another state, the courts of that state cannot recognize the agreement and require that an estate proceeding be initiated in that state. A Community real estate contract is an agreement between spouses or national partners registered by the state to characterize their property as common property. Normally, each property of married couples and national partners is characterized as a common property or a separate property, depending on when and how the property was acquired. The characterization of the estate affects the legal rights and interests of each spouse or partner on the property. While “co-ownership” may be confusing, I hope this information has dispelled some misunderstandings and will make things easier for you and your family. Talk to your estate planning advisor and financial advisor to make sure your accounts and assets are properly titled and that you have the estate planning documents. For a middle-class couple in a first marriage living in Washington, a community real estate deal could be a much simpler alternative to more complex real estate planning. Like all legal things, a size is not suitable for everyone. There are some important considerations that you need to check before choosing a community real estate contract as an appropriate real estate planning device. You should talk to your estate planning advisor and your estate planning lawyer to confirm that a community real estate contract is the right option for you. The concept of co-ownership comes from Spanish civil law and is relatively unique in the United States. Only 9 of the 50 states are “states of common ownership.” And most of these states are in the western United States, where the law was probably introduced for several reasons.
First, it was probably a temptation for the female population to relocate to these states (attracted by the common ownership of the property). Second, it was probably established to the West, because states that included concepts of communal property in their constitutions, their constitutions later than eastern states, and at a time when women`s rights were advancing at the national level. As a general rule, the goal that couples have in mind when entering into community ownership agreements is to avoid the execution of a will that requires an estate procedure. In some states where succession is excessively expensive and takes too long, avoiding succession can be a good idea. However, in Washington State, succession is often relatively quick and inexpensive. In addition, there are several drawbacks and possible unintended consequences that may result from the conclusion of a Community ownership agreement, which often makes it a bad choice as an alternative of will. Second, the land planning contract creates a trap for the unwary. Community heritage is subject to assumptions other than separate heritage when it is divided between spouses by divorce tribunals. In general, the courts believe that the property separate from the outgoing partners should remain in the hands of the owner, without proper consideration to the contrary, while the court considers that the co-ownership should be shared equally between the spouses in the event of divorce. RCW 26.09.080 and its interpretation cases.
When divorce takes place to a partner who does not assume this principle (as is often the case for one of the conjugal partners), a community ownership contract, executed to achieve cost savings from the estate procedure, can lead to the unwanted transfer of essential assets to the outgoing spouse, assets which, without the Community ownership contract, , would have stayed with the separate owner.