Condominium And Homeowners Associations In Washington State

Posted: May 21, 2019

By: Washington State Business Law and Litigation Lawyer Babak Shamsi

In Washington State, residential communities made up of single-family homes, townhouses, or apartment units frequently arrange themselves into associations to address the common interests and liabilities of the property owners.  These community associations often take the form of condominium associations (“CAs”) or homeowners associations (“HOAs”).  While the two are often named interchangeably, the differences between condominiums and other communities are significant.  It is thus crucial to understand not only the differences between them, but the distinctions between various condominiums as well.

A principal difference in Washington State between community organizations comes from the statutes that govern...Read More

Adverse Possession In Washington State

Posted: May 14, 2019

By: Washington State Business & Real Estate Lawyer William O. Kessler

What is Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession is a legal doctrine under which a person can establish real estate ownership through consistent use (i.e. possession) of someone else’s property.  To establish a claim of adverse possession, the claimant must prove that the claimant’s possession is:

(1) exclusive, meaning no other person has possessed the property for the extent the claim has existed;

(2) actual and uninterrupted, meaning there is no break in ownership of the specific property for the extent the claim has existed;

(3) open and notorious, meaning that possession is obvious; and

(4) “hostile,” not...Read More

New Washington Legislation Affecting Noncompetition Agreements

Posted: May 8, 2019

By: Washington State Employment Law Lawyer Elizabeth L. Van Moppes

The Washington state legislature has passed, and Governor Inslee is expected to soon sign into law, legislation that will significantly limit noncompete clauses in contracts between businesses, their employees and independent contractors.

Effective January 1, 2020, this new law will prohibit all noncompetition agreements for employees whose W-2 earnings are less than $100,000 annually, and for independent contractors paid less than $250,000...Read More

Uncommon Assets Requiring Division In Divorce In Washington State

Posted: May 1, 2019

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Dimitra S. Scott

If you are in a divorce process, you have to think outside the box when you consider division of your estate—your estate may be more than just homes, cars, investments, and retirement accounts. Think about the activities, vacations, and other benefits you’ve enjoyed together, and you may find there are additional items up for discussion. Some of the more uncommon assets requiring division include:

• Airline miles and Reward Points
• Cryptocurrency
• Venmo or Paypal accounts
• Pets (as they are considered property and, therefore, an asset)
• Gold/Silver/Other precious metals...Read More

Community Property vs. Separate Property In Washington State

Posted: May 1, 2019

By: Washington State Family Law Lawyer Anne B. Bennette

In a marriage dissolution, individuals frequently ask what assets and debts are subject to the Court’s orders in a divorce.  All separate and community property is subject to division and distribution in a divorce.  As such, it is important to understand what is a spouse’s separate property versus what is the marital community property.  Courts must identify the marriage’s community property and each partner’s separate property in order to understand how to divide the assets upon divorce.  Below we discuss how courts define community and separate property, as well as the complexities involved with defining community...Read More

Committed Intimate Relationships And Estate Planning In Washington State

Posted: Apr 30, 2019

By: Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Casey E. Clifton

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 relationship is owned by both parties.

A court must examine several factors to determine whether a relationship qualifies as a CIR:

  • How long has the couple been together/lived together?
  • Was the cohabitation continuous?
  • Did the parties present themselves as a long-term, committed couple?
  • Did...Read More

Resolving Estate Disputes – TEDRA

Posted: Apr 30, 2019

By: Washington State Estate Planning & Probate Lawyer Matthew J. Cruz

“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 for an initial analysis of your position in the dispute.  This step is not required but given the complex nature of the procedures associated with estate litigation and administration, I urge you to consider obtaining the counsel of an experienced estate...Read More

Community Spotlight: Dawson Place

Posted: Apr 30, 2019

By: BeresfordBooth

The lawyers and staff at Beresford Booth are blessed to be involved with many special organizations throughout the greater Pacific Northwest.  This month, given that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, we think it highly appropriate to highlight Dawson Place.  Dawson Place seeks to help children victimized by sexual and physical abuse and specializes in their rehabilitation.

Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization providing the core services needed by child victims of physical or sexual violence.  Their location in Everett is designed to be the one place where child victims can go to receive the resources and...Read More

Making A Pre-Inheritance Advance? Document It!

Posted: Apr 29, 2019

By: Washington State Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Andrew M. McKenzie

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 the distributions gifts, loans, or advances to be deducted later from an inheritance?  Naturally, the recipient of the distribution would usually prefer for the distribution to be characterized as a gift, whereas the other heirs of the testator would prefer that...Read More

Disposing Of Tangible Personal Property At Death

Posted: Apr 29, 2019

By: Washington State Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Per E. Oscarsson

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 precious metals.  It can also include articles held for investment purposes.  It does not include property used primarily in trade or business; mobile homes; real estate; or intangible property such as money that is normal currency, bank accounts or other monetary deposits, securities, or...Read More