Wisconsin is one of a minority of states and U.S. territories that operates under a marital property (aka community property) regime. What this means for married couples is that each spouse owns an undivided one-half (1/2) interest in “marital property,” which, as a general rule, includes any and all property acquired during the marriage, with some exceptions. The marital property regime provides various estate planning and tax benefits to married couples, provided that the marital property characterization of real and personal property is maintained.
However, what happens to a couples’ marital property assets if they relocate to a common law state (one without a marital/community property regime), such as Florida? Luckily, Florida is one of sixteen total states that have adopted the Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act. The Act creates a rebuttable presumption, with limited exceptions, that marital property brought from a community property state to a common law state will remain community property. The Act also permits individuals to exchange assets while maintaining the marital property characterization of assets that are received in return.
For states that have not adopted the Act, and as additional insurance for couples residing in those that have, married individuals can enter into a written agreement (e.g., a post-nuptial agreement, community property agreement, marital property agreement, etc.) that specifically dictates the character of their assets.
If you have any questions on this topic, please contact Lin Law LLC at (920) 393-1190.