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Unambiguous Deed Can’t Be Challenged in Community/Separate Property Dispute

On October 8, 2018

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Texas community property law states that property gifted to a spouse is the separate property of that spouse.   Whether a transfer is a gift is often a hotly contested issues requiring the person who made the alleged gift to testify as such in Court. A recent case out of the San Antonio Court of Appeals makes proving a gift by testimony a harder proposition when it involves real property. Scott v. Scott, No. 04-17-00155-CV.

In this case the wife’s mother, and several other witnesses, testified that she intended to convey some real estate to her daughter as a gift. The deed however contained a common recitation that the conveyance was made in exchange for $10 of consideration. Consideration would make the property community property.   The wife prevailed at trial, but the appellate court overturned the decision finding that because the deed unambiguously stated the property was conveyed for consideration, the Court could not consider outside evidence that the property was a gift.

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