Community property is a form of property ownership used for some property owned by spouses. Only some states recognize community property and the specifics vary a little in those states.
With community property, each spouse has an ownership interest in the property. That is often true even if only one spouse's name is on the title.
Community property generally includes assets earned or acquired during marriage. Income is a common example of something that may be community property, even if only one spouse is working. If community property income is used to purchase other assets, those may also be community property. A residence is a common example of something that may be community property, even if only one spouse’s name is listed on the title.
For the most part, spouses don’t notice much difference between community property and other types of property. However, there can be important differences at death. We’ve designed our document to consider the impacts of community property if you live in a community property state.
There are many complex rules for determining whether something is community property or not. If you have concerns about whether you have community property or not or if you have concerns about having community property even if you don’t live in a community property states, you might wish to consult an attorney for more information.