For the lawyer in the community property state, the laws peculiar to community property are familiar ground, having in all probability made up at least a part of the law school curriculum. For the lawyer in the common law state, community property laws are generally something to be read about in the newspaper when the husband or wife of a movie star lands a huge divorce settlement due to the operation of the community property laws in California. But it is quite realistic to state that whether the attorneys in the common law states know it or not, they are in fact likely to encounter the operation of community property laws at some time during their practice. Indeed, if they fail (or worse, have failed) to determine whether any community property laws operate on the estate plans of any of their clients, such failure might amount to malpractice, if the client suffers economic detriment. The more positive side of the picture, of course, is that given the fact that a substantial percentage of those persons who move from state to state are executives and sales personnel of large multi-state corporations, special opportunities arise for the attorneys they leave behind, or the attorneys they consult upon their arrival at their new locations, for intelligent estate planning. This note will outline the basic problems of moves to and from community property states, and will point toward the solutions of these problems.
Note, Community Property Considerations in Ohio Estate Planning: Expecting the Unexpected, 23 Clev. St. L. Rev. 470 (1974)