A property owned
by a married couple. Community properties have rights of survivorship
. In other words, when one spouse dies, the property does not become part of the decedent's estate
; rather, the other spouse continues to own the property. A couple may jointly own their home, for example. Generally speaking, a spouse is considered to be the primary beneficiary
of the other's assets
, such as retirement accounts
, unless both spouses state otherwise.
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Property that is owned jointly by spouses. The legal concept in community property states that, with the exception of gifts and inheritance, all property acquired during a marriage is equally owned by each spouse. The community property statute is very important in the event that the marriage is dissolved or one spouse dies. In some locales, the concept of community property extends to individuals participating in unions other than marriage.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.
In nine US states, any assets, investments, and income that are acquired during a marriage are considered community property. That is, they are owned jointly by the married couple.
For example, if you're married, live in one of these states, and buy stock, half the value of that stock belongs to your spouse even if you paid the entire cost of buying it. In a divorce, the value of the community property is divided equally.
However, property you owned before you married or that you received as a gift is generally not considered community property.
The community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Property owned by a husband and wife, each owning an undivided onehalf interest by virtue of the marital relationship and not by virtue of any deed or other document of specific intent. There are exceptions for family property inherited from one side or the other. The community property states are Arizona,California,Idaho,Louisiana,Nevada,New Mexico,Texas,and Washington.
The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Property considered to belong in equal shares to a husband and wife. This concept of ownership for property acquired after marriage is followed in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Copyright © 2008 H&R Block. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission from H&R Block Glossary