Property Acquired By Gift, Bequest, Devise Or Succession

All property acquired after marriage in any manner whatsoever by either spouse, or both, is community property in a state that recognizes community property, with the exception of property owned by the spouses prior to marriage and that acquired subsequently by gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance and the rents, issues and profits thereof.  All community property, both real and personal, is owned by both spouses equally.  There is an absolute equality of ownership and rights in all community property, eventhough the husband is a statutory agent for the community[i].

In the absence of fraud, a spouse may create a trust from separate property.  Thus, income is not acquired during marriage.  It remains separate trust property if:

  • the income remains undistributed during marriage;and
  • there is no right to compel distribution[ii].

However, a gift to both spouses generally constitutes community property[iii].

 

[i] In re Estate of Towey, 22 Wn.2d 212 (Wash. 1945)

[ii] Lipsey v. Lipsey, 983 S.W.2d 345 (Tex. App. Fort Worth 1998)

[iii] Roosth v. Roosth, 889 S.W.2d 445 (Tex. App. Houston 14th Dist. 1994)


Inside Property Acquired By Gift, Bequest, Devise Or Succession