Certus attorney, Mark Shiller, recently spoke to the Chicago Estate Planning Council on the subject of marital property/community property issues for common law practitioners. Practicing in Wisconsin, which is one of nine states with a community property system (called marital property in Wisconsin), gives us a particular sensitivity to issues that arise when married couples move to or from states with different property law systems.

We have had the privilege to assist clients and counsel in other states in addressing such issues through the use of:

Marital Property Agreements
Marital Property Trusts (also called Community Property Trusts)
Asset segregation strategies
Tracing of marital or community property components of marital estates

The issue has a great deal of relevance to clients as marital property/community property ownership can lead to simpler division of property between spouses and has the advantage (generally) of providing for a basis adjustments of 100% of the marital/community property (not just the portion owned/attributable to the deceased spouse’s ownership) at the first death and potentially again at the surviving spouse’s death.

To learn more about these issues, contact your Certus attorney or Mark directly.