Is income from a trust community or separate property?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

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Is income from a trust community or separate property?

I am getting married next month and will be the income beneficiary to my grandmother’s trust when she passes away. Provided my grandmother passes away while I am married, will the trust income be separate or community property?

Asked on August 2, 2011 California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Certain property is considered to be separate property even if someone is married and living in a community property state. Such assets would be property the one of the spouses owned prior to the marriage, any earnings or accumulations aquired after a legal separation or property that was gifted to them or inherited by them during the marriage. So this income would be considered to be separate property. However to the extent that it cannot be traced back or becomes "co-mingled" with community property assets, it can be then be considered to be community property.

Accordingly, try to keep accurate and detailed records as to just what you do with this trust income. It will be critical in determining the division of assets in a divorce.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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