TRANSMUTATION AND THE ASCENDANCE OF UNDUE INFLUENCE
By Howard S. Klein, Esq.*
California law pertaining to transmutations has a checkered history. As outlined in this article, while statutory changes in 1985 promised to provide some clarity, the injection of undue influence law has, to an extent, muddled the picture once again.
Briefly, transmutation involves not merely the interspousal transfer of title to property, whether from a spouse’s separate property to the other spouse’s separate property or to community property, or the transfer of community property title to the separate property of a spouse; transmutation involves the intentional transfer of beneficial interest in that property.1 Transmutation has implications both from an estate planning perspective and from a family law – marital dissolution or legal separation – perspective.2