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Generally, only the property of the decedent passing to someone other than the surviving spouse is subject to administration in a probate court proceeding. The advantage for a spouse to elect administration by the decedent's personal representative is that the assets ultimately distributed to the surviving spouse will be free of creditor claims for community debts, and the surviving spouse will not be personally liable for community debts. If a surviving spouse does not elect to go through probate administration for community or quasi-community property, she will be able to show proof of ownership by a confirmation proceeding. The procedure is usually quite simple. The surviving spouse must file a petition alleging the inventory of community or quasi-community assets and that the survivor now owns them through intestate succession or by will. In the absence of proof to the contrary, the court will issue a judgment confirming ownership by the surviving spouse. If the surviving spouse does not subject both halves of the community property to probate administration, the surviving spouse will be liable to most creditors for obligations incurred by the decedent. However, this liability cannot exceed the value of the survivor's half interest in community or quasi-community ...

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