FAMILY CODE SECTION 850-853
850. Subject to Sections 851 to 853, inclusive, married persons may
by agreement or transfer, with or without consideration, do any of
(a) Transmute community property to separate property of either
(b) Transmute separate property of either spouse to community
(c) Transmute separate property of one spouse to separate property
of the other spouse.
851. A transmutation is subject to the laws governing fraudulent
852. (a) A transmutation of real or personal property is not valid
unless 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.
(b) A transmutation of real property is not effective as to third
parties without notice thereof unless recorded.
(c) This section does not apply to a gift between the spouses of
clothing, wearing apparel, jewelry, or other tangible articles of a
personal nature that is used solely or principally by the spouse to
whom the gift is made and that is not substantial in value taking
into account the circumstances of the marriage.
(d) Nothing in this section affects the law governing
characterization of property in which separate property and community
property are commingled or otherwise combined.
(e) This section does not apply to or affect a transmutation of
property made before January 1, 1985, and the law that would
otherwise be applicable to that transmutation shall continue to
853. (a) A statement in a will of the character of property is not
admissible as evidence of a transmutation of the property in a
proceeding commenced before the death of the person who made the
(b) A waiver of a right to a joint and survivor annuity or
survivor’s benefits under the federal Retirement Equity Act of 1984
(Public Law 98-397) is not a transmutation of the community property
rights of the person executing the waiver.
(c) A written joinder or written consent to a nonprobate transfer
of community property on death that satisfies Section 852 is a
transmutation and is governed by the law applicable to transmutations
and not by Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 5010) of Part 1 of
Division 5 of the Probate Code.