What Surviving Spouses Need to Know About Community Property

What Surviving Spouses Need to Know About Community PropertyWhen it comes to the division of assets in a divorce, Florida is not a community property state. However, surviving spouses do have community property rights here to property that was acquired during a marriage.

Property owned by a husband or wife prior to entering into marriage is not considered to be community property under Florida law unless proper legal action is taken to make individually owned assets community property. Any property that is acquired during a marriage is deemed to be community property unless it was a gift from one spouse to the other. Inherited assets for surviving spouses are not considered part of marital community property.

Under the Florida Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act (CPRDA), surviving spouses are entitled to half of the marital community property, specifically:

  • All personal property, no matter where located, that was acquired:
    • As community property under the laws of another state;
    • With the rents, issues or income of, or the proceeds from, or in exchange for, community property; or
    • Is traceable to that community property.
  • All real property in Florida except property held as tenants by the entirety that was acquired:
    • With the rents, issues, or income of, or the proceeds from, or in exchange for property acquired as, or which became and remained, community property under the laws of another jurisdiction; or
    • Is traceable to that community property.

In addition, a surviving spouse can ask the decedent’s executor to clear title to the community property and investigate the community property status of any real property held solely in the decedent’s name.

At The Estate, Trust and Elder Law Firm, P.L. we help our Treasure Coast clients develop and implement comprehensive estate planning strategies personally tailored to their unique situation, needs, and goals.   Contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.

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