An article in the ABA Journal explains how California community property rules were strengthened by the Frankie Valli case. The former entertainer apparently purchased a life insurance Policy with his wife Randy Valli as beneficiary back in 2003. Today the plan is valued at over three million dollars. The Vallis filed for divorce years later and Mrs Valli wanted to keep all the proceeds of the Policy for herself. But the Supreme Court of California ruled that it has to be split equally Under the state’s community property laws.
According to the ABA Journal article:
The court ruled (PDF) on Thursday in a case that strengthened California’s community property law, the San Francisco Chronicle (sub. req.) reports. The San Jose Mercury News and Courthouse News Service also have stories.
Valli, now 80, purchased the policy in 2003 and named his wife, Randy Valli, the sole beneficiary. Randy Valli contended she was entitled to the full policy value of $365,000 at the time of the divorce proceedings.
The court said that a spouse may transfer community property to the other, but it must be done in writing under a 1984 law. Frankie Valli “never expressly declared in writing that he gave up his community interest in the policy bought with community funds,” the court said.