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Committed Intimate Relationships And Estate Planning In Washington State

Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Casey E. Clifton | 4/30/2019
What is a Committed Intimate Relationship? In Washington State, common-law marriage—legal recognition of marriage without having formally registered their relationship—is not lawful.  However, Washington courts have adopted a definition for a long-term, unmarried relationship known as a committed intimidate relationship (“CIR”). The existence of a CIR creates a presumption that all property acquired during the… Read More

Resolving Estate Disputes – TEDRA

Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Matthew J. Cruz | 4/30/2019
“I am involved in an estate dispute as an heir/beneficiary of the disputed estate… what do I do?” Throughout my years counseling individuals through the resolution of their estate disputes, this question has occurred frequently.  As an heir or beneficiary in a disputed estate, it is always recommended to hire an attorney, even if only… Read More

Making A Pre-Inheritance Advance? Document It!

Washington State Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Andrew M. McKenzie | 4/29/2019
For various reasons, testators frequently distribute portions of their estate to their kids, heirs, and loved ones before they die.  Reasons can vary from reducing or avoiding taxes to simply recognizing an heir’s greater need for financial help in the moment.  Questions often arise later concerning how the distribution should be characterized, such as: Were… Read More

Disposing Of Tangible Personal Property At Death

Washington State Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson | 4/29/2019
Washington law allows a person to dispose of certain kinds of tangible personal property at their death in a writing separate from their last will and testament.  For purposes of the law, “tangible personal property” is defined as “articles of personal or household use or ornament,” such as furniture, furnishings, cars, boats, jewelry, art, and… Read More

What Is The Super Will Provision In Washington State?

Washington State Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson | 3/27/2019
A person’s Will does not usually deal with “non-probate assets.”  Non-probate assets are the rights and interests of a person in an asset that pass on the person’s death under a written instrument or arrangement other than the person’s Will.  Examples include property owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, payable-on-death bank accounts, and… Read More

Capacity To Make A Will

Washington State Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Andrew M. McKenzie | 3/27/2019
One of the requirements for making a valid will is that the testator have the legal capacity to do so.  Sometimes heirs or would-be-heirs under a will contend that the provisions thereof could not have been the testator’s true intentions, that the testator must not have been of sound mind, and that the will must… Read More

Self-Directed Disposition Of Human Remains In Washington State

Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Matthew J. Cruz | 2/21/2019
Statute Pursuant to RCW 68.50.160, a person has the right to direct how his or her remains are disposed after death.  “Directing” such disposition is best accomplished in writing which includes a description of the method of disposition (i.e. burial, cremation, donation for purposes of research etc.).  The written instructions should be signed and dated… Read More

Federal and Washington Estate Taxes for 2019

Washington State Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson | 2/19/2019
The “applicable exclusion amount” is the amount of a deceased person’s estate that passes free of estate tax. This differs from the unlimited marital deduction that applies when one spouse dies and transfers all of his or her interest in property to the surviving spouse. There is an applicable exclusion amount for federal estate tax… Read More

Fiduciary Duties Of Escrow Holders In Washington State

Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer William O. Kessler | 11/5/2018
An escrow holder owes fiduciary duties to all parties to the escrow, and owes the same duty of fidelity that an agent or trustee owes to its principles.  Parties to escrows frequently misunderstand these duties.  It is not an escrow holder’s job to sort out ambiguities of a contract between the parties; rather, the escrow… Read More

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