There is ver good news for partners owning real estate. Effective Jan.
Your will or living trust does not control who your life insurance or retirement fund goes to upon your death.
In California, small estates do not need to be probated. The definition of “small estate” has increased to $150,000 for deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2012. Joint tenancy accounts, pay on death accounts, and accounts with beneficiary designations are not included in calculating the value of the estate.
In May, 2010, the IRS changed the rules for how California registered domestic partners and same-sex married couples should file their federal income taxes.