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How Are Community Property Assets Treated As Part Of An Estate Plan?

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Certain States Recognize Community Property

Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are states where assets may be held as community property.  (Alaska also has an “opt in” option for assets to be treated as community property.)  Estate planning in those states requires an understanding of what community property is and how it is treated for tax and dispositive purposes.

What is Community Property?

Community property is generally defined to be property acquired during a marriage in a community property state.  It doesn’t matter if that property is titled in the name of one spouse or the other – or in the name of both spouses.  As a general rule, if the property is acquired during marriage, regardless of how title is held it is treated as community property.

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