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Transfers to Wife in Writing Prior to 1975: This is a special presumption favoring a separate property classification for transfers to W in writing prior to 1975. Prior to 1889, Wife (W), in California, had no ownership rights in community property. The rule of law in community property states at that time was that record title does not affect ownership. In 1889, the legislature passed a statute that held that title in a W’s name raised a presumption of separate ownership. Thus if W was named in writing prior to 1975 as the transferee without qualification, a presumption arises that the property is W’s separate property. If Husband (H) and W are named in the pre-1975 instrument as husband and wife but with no specification in the form of ownership, the asset is presumed community. If the two are not named as husband and wife, the pro wife presumption attaches to her interest and the general pro community presumption attaches to the husband’s interests. Thus, in the latter event, W becomes a ¾th owner as she gets half and then half of the husband’s half. Exceptions: From 1951 to 1975, W had management of her own property. If W ...

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