Asked in Probate for California

Q: Are the terms "Personal Property" and "Separate Property" one in the same?

I am seeing conflicting information regarding intestate succession and the surviving spouse.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ernest Charles Payne Jr
Ernest Charles Payne Jr
  • Probate Lawyer
  • San Clemente, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No. “Personal property” refers to the character of the property, specifically ordinary possessions. This is as opposed to real property, intellectual property, registered vehicles, etc. “Separate property” refers to ownership, meaning it is that person’s property and no one else’s. As opposed to community property, which is shared and owned by both parties in a marriage.

Nina Whitehurst and Gerald Barry Dorfman agree with this answer

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