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AB-327 Estates and trusts: at-death transfers.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/02/2019 09:00 PM
AB327:v97#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 327
CHAPTER 43

An act to amend Section 721 of the Family Code, and to add Section 21385 to the Probate Code, relating to estates and trusts.

[ Approved by Governor  July 01, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  July 01, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 327, Maienschein. Estates and trusts: at-death transfers.
Existing law provides that either spouse may enter into any real property transaction with the other or any other person, and in transactions between themselves are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships, which are the same rights and duties governing nonmarital business partners. Existing law provides that this confidential relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse and prohibits each spouse from taking unfair advantage of the other. Existing law exempts certain circumstances from these provisions, including, among others, situations involving waivers of spousal rights.
This bill would additionally exempt at-death transfers between spouses by will, revocable trust, beneficiary form, or other instrument from the above-described provisions and any presumptions of undue influence arising from those provisions. The bill would clarify that other statutory or common law presumptions of undue influence may apply to these transfers.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 721 of the Family Code is amended to read:

721.
 (a) Subject to subdivision (b), either spouse may enter into any transaction with the other, or with any other person, respecting property, which either might if unmarried.
(b) Except as provided in Sections 143, 144, 146, 16040, 16047, and 21385 of the Probate Code, in transactions between themselves, spouses are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships that control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations with each other. This confidential relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other. This confidential relationship is a fiduciary relationship subject to the same rights and duties of nonmarital business partners, as provided in Sections 16403, 16404, and 16503 of the Corporations Code, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Providing each spouse access at all times to any books kept regarding a transaction for the purposes of inspection and copying.
(2) Rendering upon request, true and full information of all things affecting any transaction that concerns the community property. Nothing in this section is intended to impose a duty for either spouse to keep detailed books and records of community property transactions.
(3) Accounting to the spouse, and holding as a trustee, any benefit or profit derived from any transaction by one spouse without the consent of the other spouse that concerns the community property.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21385 is added to the Probate Code, to read:

21385.
 (a) An at-death transfer, as defined in Section 21104, between spouses by will, revocable trust, beneficiary form, or other instrument is not subject to Section 721 of the Family Code or any presumptions of undue influence created by that section.
(b) This section does not limit the application of any other statutory or common law presumptions of undue influence that may apply to an at-death transfer between spouses.