Probate Hack – Spousal Property Petition

If a Spouse dies and there is a financial account or real property still in the name of the deceased spouse, and no succession mechanism was established or is otherwise available, the surviving Spouse can petition the Probate Court for a one time hearing with a Spousal Property Petition (avoiding the full Probate Court Estate Administration process.)

In most cases, the surviving Spouse will have to establish that the deceased Spouse’s property was community (marital property) as opposed to separate property.

The Spousal property petition is only available for the surviving Spouse or Domestic partner. It is not available for the surviving children, other relative, or other interested parties.


Author: Hanlen Chang

The Law Offices of Hanlen J. Chang is located in San Francisco, California. Mr. Chang is a graduate of Southwestern Law School and UC Santa Barbara. Mr. Chang’s Legal Practice is focused on Estate Planning (with an international subspeciality), Business Law, and Real Estate. Mr. Chang is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco – International Law & Practice Executive Committee.