N. Aaron Johnson (Downey Brand LLP): Unilateral Severance of Joint Tenancy Must Be Unequivocal and Irrevocable (October 26, 2021)

N. Aaron Johnson, of ([Downey Brand LLP), has made available for
download his article, “Unilateral Severance of Joint Tenancy Must Be Unequivocal and Irrevocable,” published in JDSUPRA. The article begins as follows:

Can a California will sever a joint tenancy such that the decedent’s interest in real property passes per will’s terms instead of vesting in the surviving joint tenant(s)? Additionally, when a general partnership dissolves after the death of a partner’s spouse, does the deceased spouse’s estate have a community property interest in the distributed partnership assets?

The California Court of Appeal addressed these questions in Pearce v. Briggs (2021) 68 Cal.App.5th 466, a case arising from a blended family’s battle over Bakersfield real estate. The opinion casts doubt on when, if ever, a will may sever a joint tenancy. The opinion also shows how beneficiaries of a deceased spouse may have difficulty enforcing a community property interest in a general partnership operated by the surviving spouse.

Click here to view N. Aaron Johnson’s summary of Unilateral Severance of Joint Tenancy Must Be Unequivocal and Irrevocable

Posted by Bennett Mansour, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal

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