Author Topic: What happens to your beneficiaries if you die without a spousal consent form?  (Read 710 times)

meteor

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When I die, I want to give my assets to charities.  Since I live in a community property state (which requires spousal consent for beneficiaries) what would happen if I die without a spousal consent form? Will all the beneficiaries lose all rights to anything I leave them?

nereo

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When I die, I want to give my assets to charities.  Since I live in a community property state (which requires spousal consent for beneficiaries) what would happen if I die without a spousal consent form? Will all the beneficiaries lose all rights to anything I leave them?
Do you have a legal will?
IIRC from our latest round of will-drafting, you cannot give away something in death that legally belongs to your spouse. Since you live in a communal property state your spouse shares ownership of your assets unless specified otherwise (e.g. via a prenuptial agreement). Ergo, you cannot just give that away in death without your spouse's consent.  The listed beneficiaries (charities) have no rights to these assets - your spouse does.

meteor

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YOU SAID: "Do you have a legal will?
IIRC from our latest round of will-drafting, you cannot give away something in death that legally belongs to your spouse. Since you live in a communal property state your spouse shares ownership of your assets unless specified otherwise (e.g. via a prenuptial agreement). Ergo, you cannot just give that away in death without your spouse's consent.  The listed beneficiaries (charities) have no rights to these assets - your spouse does."

Is this the case even though I brought these assets into the marriage and they are all in my name? 

secondcor521

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Is this the case even though I brought these assets into the marriage and they are all in my name? 

It depends on your state law.  In my state, your property could be separate as long as you can show (a) that they were your separate property before the marriage, and (b) you had not commingled the separate property with joint property at any time during the marriage.  But again, these things can vary from state to state and IANAL.

I think things that require a spousal consent form are usually pretty clear on what happens if you don't get the spousal consent form signed and filed.  Is your spouse not willing to sign?