Hi, my name is John T. Anderson. Welcome to my blog! I have been practicing law in California since 1975 and have been the Chairman of the Estate Planning and Probate Section of the Long Beach Bar Association since the mid-1980s. I'm also certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. On this blog, you will find articles written by me regarding estate planning and probate in California. Many of these articles address recent changes in the law and summaries of the Long Beach Bar Association’s Estate Planning and Probate Section meetings. I hope that you find these articles helpful. If you would like more information about me or my law office, please visit my website at or contact my office at 562.424.8619.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Estate of Wilson: Does a Domestic Partnership Agreement Survive a Subsequent Marriage?

In Estate of Wilson, (Dec. 13, 2012, A133952) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ [2012 Cal.App. Lexis 1264], the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Two, issued a ruling in a dispute over the survivorship of a domestic partnership agreement after a subsequent marriage.

Decedent, Dr. Philip Timothy Wilson (“Wilson”), and Petitioner/Appellant, Antipas Johnlang Konou (“Konou”), signed a “Pre Registration Domestic Partnership Agreement” (“Agreement”) and then registered as domestic partners. Included in the Agreement were “waivers of any rights, claims or interest in the future property, income, or estate of the other, and [the agreement] required a signed writing to amend or terminate th[e] agreement.” Two years later, during the brief period allowing it in California, the couple married. Then Wilson died.

Konou filed an omitted spouse petition claiming an interest in Wilson’s estate. The trial court denied the claim finding that, although Konou was an omitted spouse, the Agreement remained valid after the marriage, and Konou waived any interest in Wilson’s estate.

Konou appealed arguing that there was no prenuptial agreement and that the marriage license constituted a writing terminating the Agreement.

The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s order.

                                    John T. Anderson, Section Chair
                                    LB Bar Assoc. Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law Section
                                    Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the
                                    State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

Copyright © 2012 by John T. Anderson
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