There are only a few people who can file a spousal property petition. These are:

  • The surviving spouse;
  • The surviving domestic partner; and
  • Representatives of the spouse/partner.

The filing of a California probate spousal property petition is voluntary and can only transfer property to a surviving spouse. It does not transfer property of the decedent to which other rightful heirs are entitled. A surviving spouse/partner can choose not to file a spousal property petition, and file a full probate proceeding instead.