State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > California > Prob > 5600-5604

PROBATE CODE
SECTION 5600-5604



5600.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a nonprobate
transfer to the transferor's former spouse, in an instrument executed
by the transferor before or during the marriage, fails if, at the
time of the transferor's death, the former spouse is not the
transferor's surviving spouse as defined in Section 78, as a result
of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage. A judgment of legal
separation that does not terminate the status of husband and wife is
not a dissolution for purposes of this section.
   (b) Subdivision (a) does not cause a nonprobate transfer to fail
in any of the following cases:
   (1) The nonprobate transfer is not subject to revocation by the
transferor at the time of the transferor's death.
   (2) There is clear and convincing evidence that the transferor
intended to preserve the nonprobate transfer to the former spouse.
   (3) A court order that the nonprobate transfer be maintained on
behalf of the former spouse is in effect at the time of the
transferor's death.
   (c) Where a nonprobate transfer fails by operation of this
section, the instrument making the nonprobate transfer shall be
treated as it would if the former spouse failed to survive the
transferor.
   (d) Nothing in this section affects the rights of a subsequent
purchaser or encumbrancer for value in good faith who relies on the
apparent failure of a nonprobate transfer under this section or who
lacks knowledge of the failure of a nonprobate transfer under this
section.
   (e) As used in this section, "nonprobate transfer" means a
provision, other than a provision of a life insurance policy, of
either of the following types:
   (1) A provision of a type described in Section 5000.
   (2) A provision in an instrument that operates on death, other
than a will, conferring a power of appointment or naming a trustee.



5601.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a joint tenancy
between the decedent and the decedent's former spouse, created before
or during the marriage, is severed as to the decedent's interest if,
at the time of the decedent's death, the former spouse is not the
decedent's surviving spouse as defined in Section 78, as a result of
the dissolution or annulment of the marriage. A judgment of legal
separation that does not terminate the status of husband and wife is
not a dissolution for purposes of this section.
   (b) Subdivision (a) does not sever a joint tenancy in either of
the following cases:
   (1) The joint tenancy is not subject to severance by the decedent
at the time of the decedent's death.
   (2) There is clear and convincing evidence that the decedent
intended to preserve the joint tenancy in favor of the former spouse.
   (c) Nothing in this section affects the rights of a subsequent
purchaser or encumbrancer for value in good faith who relies on an
apparent severance under this section or who lacks knowledge of a
severance under this section.
   (d) For purposes of this section, property held in "joint tenancy"
includes property held as community property with right of
survivorship, as described in Section 682.1 of the Civil Code.



5602.  (a) Nothing in this part affects the rights of a purchaser or
encumbrancer of real property for value who in good faith relies on
an affidavit or a declaration under penalty of perjury under the laws
of this state that states all of the following:
   (1) The name of the decedent.
   (2) The date and place of the decedent's death.
   (3) A description of the real property transferred to the affiant
or declarant by an instrument making a nonprobate transfer or by
operation of joint tenancy survivorship.
   (4) Either of the following, as appropriate:
   (A) The affiant or declarant is the surviving spouse of the
decedent.
   (B) The affiant or declarant is not the surviving spouse of the
decedent, but the rights of the affiant or declarant to the described
property are not affected by Section 5600 or 5601.
   (b) A person relying on an affidavit or declaration made pursuant
to subdivision (a) has no duty to inquire into the truth of the
matters stated in the affidavit or declaration.
   (c) An affidavit or declaration made pursuant to subdivision (a)
may be recorded.


5603.  Nothing in this part is intended to limit the court's
authority to order a party to a dissolution or annulment of marriage
to maintain the former spouse as a beneficiary on any nonprobate
transfer described in this part, or to preserve a joint tenancy in
favor of the former spouse.



5604.  (a) This part is operative on January 1, 2002.
   (b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), this part applies to an
instrument making a nonprobate transfer or creating a joint tenancy
whether executed before, on, or after the operative date of this
part.
   (c) Sections 5600 and 5601 do not apply, and the applicable law in
effect before the operative date of this part applies, to an
instrument making a nonprobate transfer or creating a joint tenancy
in either of the following circumstances:
   (1) The person making the nonprobate transfer or creating the
joint tenancy dies before the operative date of this part.
   (2) The dissolution of marriage or other event that terminates the
status of the nonprobate transfer beneficiary or joint tenant as a
surviving spouse occurs before the operative date of this part.