May 2015 LACBA MCLE Test and Answer Sheet

Test No. 246: Transmutation of Law

To access the article related to this test, please click here.
Instructions for Obtaining MCLE Credit

The Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour. To apply for credit, please follow the instructions.

1. Study the CLE article.

2. Answer the test questions by marking the appropriate boxes. Each question has only one answer.

3. Photocopies of this answer sheet may be submitted; however, this form should not be enlarged or reduced. Mail the answer sheet and the $20 testing fee ($25 for non-LACBA members) to:

Los Angeles Lawyer
P.O. Box 55020
Los Angeles, CA 90055

Make checks payable to Los Angeles Lawyer.

4. You can also fill in the test form and submit it directly to LACBA by clicking "Submit." To submit your test answers online you will need to pay by credit card. After submitting your answers you will be presented with a screen requesting payment information. This information will be submitted in a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet. If you prefer not to pay by credit card, please print this answer sheet and submit your responses by regular mail.

5. Within six weeks, Los Angeles Lawyer will return your test with the correct answers, a rationale for the correct answers, and a certificate verifying the CLE credit you earned through this self-assessment activity.

6. For future reference, please retain the CLE test materials returned to you.


Test Sheet

Mark your answers to the test by clicking next to your choice.  All questions must be answered.  Each question has only one answer. This test is worth 1 hour of credit.*

1. In determining whether a transmutation will be effective, courts primarily look to the intent of the parties.

2. A key fact in Marriage of Valli that makes it different from prior cases involving insurance policies purchased with community funds is that Mr. Valli, on his own, named Mrs. Valli as owner and beneficiary.

3. Evidence Code Section 662 provides that the owner of legal title to property is presumed to be the owner of beneficial title.

4. For a transmutation to be effective, it must be made in writing by an express declaration that is made, joined in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected.

5. In order to be sufficient to effectuate a valid transmutation, a writing need only include language of transfer.

6. The presumption set forth in Evidence Code Section 662 can only be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.

7. While one spouse can transmute his or her separate property to community property, a spouse cannot transmute his or her separate property to the other spouse as separate property.

8. In order to be sufficient to effectuate a valid transmutation, a writing must include the word "transmutation."

9. Mr. Valli, in naming his wife as both owner and beneficiary, confirmed that he intended to relinquish his community property interest in the policy.

10. One purpose in enacting the transmutation statutes was to eliminate claims that the character of property (either as community property or separate property) had changed based on an alleged oral agreement between the spouses.

11. The transmutation rules never apply to an acquisition by one spouse from a third party.

12. Execution of a quitclaim deed can be sufficient to effectuate a transmutation.

13. Spouses engaging in interspousal transmutations are not subject to fiduciary obligations.

14. If an alleged transmutation writing is ambiguous, the spouse asserting that a transmutation of property has occurred may introduce parol evidence to remove the ambiguity.

15. Instructions to an investment manager to "transfer" or "journal" stock into a spouse's name is sufficient to cause a change in the character of the stock.

16. It is legally permissible for spouses to enter into conditional transmutations that only change the character of separate property to community property in the event of one spouse's death.

17. One way to avoid application of the transmutation statutes is to provide in estate planning documents that the transmutation agreement is automatically terminated upon the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage.

18. The holding in In re Marriage of Brooks and Robinson is no longer applicable.

19. For estate planning purposes, if the intention of the parties is to keep life insurance proceeds out of the estate of the insured spouse, premium payments should be paid from a separate property source.

20. Community property is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse before or during marriage.

Before clicking the Submit button, please verify that all questions have been answered. An error message will appear if not all questions are answered.

* The Los Angeles County Bar Association has been approved as a continuing legal education provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California. This self-assessment activity will qualify for Minimum Continuing Legal Education legal ethics credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of one hour.