S. Victoria Wells - Page 10

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               It is not possible to tell from the face of the consent                
               paragraphs, or even from the face of the * * *                         
               [documents] as a whole, whether decedent was aware that                
               the legal effect of her signature might be to alter the                
               character or ownership of her interest in the pension                  
               funds * * * [Id.]                                                      
          Thus, there was no "express declaration" as required by                     
          California Civil Code section 5110.730(a).                                  
               The California Supreme Court was aware that its interpre-              
          tation of California Civil Code section 5110.730(a) would                   
          preclude the finding of a transmutation in a case where extrinsic           
          evidence of an intent to transmute existed.  The court stated               
          that "it * * * [was] such reliance on extrinsic evidence for the            
          proof of transmutations which the [California] Legislature                  
          intended to eliminate in enacting the writing requirement of                
          section 5110.730(a)."  Id. at 919.  The court's construction of             
          California Civil Code section 5110.730(a) was explained as                  
                    Our conclusion honors each of the principles of                   
               statutory construction we have discussed.  First, it                   
               interprets "express declaration," so as to give                        
               significance to all the words of section 5110.730(a).                  
               Second, it effects the intent of the Legislature to                    
               create a writing requirement which enables courts to                   
               validate transmutations without resort to extrinsic                    
               evidence and, thus, without encouraging perjury and the                
               proliferation of litigation.  Third, it is consistent                  
               with our interpretation of the similar requirement in                  
               section 683.  [Id. at 918; fn. ref. omitted.6]                         

               6 In this allusion to California Civil Code sec. 683, the              
          California Supreme Court is referring to California Trust Co. v.            

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