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Gifts: A traditional gift between spouses creates an inference of a transmutation. The burden of proof is on the party claiming that the gift was a transmutation. If the spouse fails in proof of a gift, the nature of the funds used to purchase the item determines its classification.

Deed Recitals: In California Pre-1985 recitals in deeds are at most admissions of the parties signing them. They are not presumed to be true. But a pre-1975 deed that merely names W as a grantee raises the presumption that the property conveyed in her separate property. (See Special Presumptions supra). Pre-1985 deed recitals of joint tenancy caused considerable confusion. Cases held that the such a recital presumed that the spouse had made a transmutation to change the funds to joint tenancy. If it could be proven that H and W did not understand the difference between joint tenancy and community property, such evidence would overcome the presumption. Proof that one of the grantee spouses alone did not intend a transmutation is not sufficient to rebut the presumption. The pre-1985 rule deprives the first spouse to die of the power of testamentary disposition over half of the property unless the ...

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