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As Long As They’re Communicating, I Guess

, , , , , , | Related | July 3, 2022

I’m visiting my parents, and my mom makes a joke about a piece of furniture she’ll inherit, saying it’ll be solely hers. Dad is a lawyer who specializes in wills and estate planning, so it’s normal for us to joke about that sort of thing. Also relevant: my parents are in their sixties and expect to live quite a while longer.

Me: “But Mom, don’t you two have a community property agreement? It’s both of yours, then.”

A community property agreement is basically a legal form stating that spouses agree they share all their possessions, including things that would normally not be considered shared in the eyes of our state laws, like inheritances given to one individual or assets gained before the marriage.

Dad: “Actually, we’re dissolving that.” 

Me: “Why?”

Mom: “It leaves more for you and your siblings to inherit when we die.”

Dad: “If your mom would ever get around to it.”

There’s an awkward pause.

Me: “Wait, Dad… when you say, ‘get around to it,’ do you mean Mom signing the paperwork, or do you mean Mom dying?”

Dad: “No, signing it! I asked her to sign it a few weeks ago and she hasn’t yet.”

For the record, Mom agrees that dissolving their community property agreement is for the best — hence her talking about the inheritance being only hers — and Dad wants her to stick around for a while.

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