Oregon Community Property – Part 1

Most Oregonians do not realize that in the early 1940s, Oregon enacted legislation which allowed married couples to own assets as community property.  However, the community property statute was repealed before the end of the decade, and since that time Oregon has remained a separate property state.

However, though Oregon is not a state where community property can be created from separate marital property, Oregon does recognize community property which is brought into this state from another community property jurisdiction.  What this means is that a couple who accumulates community property in a state that recognizes community property (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Washington or Wisconsin (Alaska has an elective version of community property)) and then relocates to Oregon does not, for disposition of death purposes, necessarily lose the community property character of their marital property.

Specifically, Oregon recognizes as community property any personal property or real property which was acquired as or became and remained community property under the laws of a community property jurisdiction, as well as any proportionate part of such property which was acquired with rents, income or proceeds from community property.  Note that if an asset is characterized as community property, the appreciation and earnings are also characterized as community property even if the appreciation or income occurs while the married couple are residents of Oregon.