You should speak with a property or an estate planning attorney to help you understand your legal rights and to make sure your written agreement complies with the state’s statutory requirements.
It is generally insufficient to create a deed that states your intent to hold property with your spouse with a right of survivorship. Instead, your attorney will most likely draft a separate agreement stating such and file it in the appropriate county clerk or recorder’s office. You should also be aware that although a written agreement signed by you and your spouse may allow the surviving spouse to have an unfettered ownership interest to community property at one spouse’s death, the agreement will not control who receives your property after the surviving owner dies. Instead, you must create a will to control the future disposition of your community property. If you fail to draft a will, the state’s rules of intestate succession establish the rights that heirs have to your property.
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