Your spouse does NOT automatically inherit your property when you die. A properly drafted community property agreement ensures that your spouse will inherit your property when you die without probate proceedings. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help prepare this document to comply with Washington law.
Speak with Jennifer C. Rydberg at 425-235-5535 to determine if a community property or separate property agreement is appropriate for your circumstances. Schedule your consultation with a Kent, Washington, attorney who has served Greater Seattle, King County, and Pierce County since 1978.
Understanding Community Property Agreements
Under Washington community property law, married people can enter into an agreement as a form of estate planning. Usually, the property division contract states that all current property is owned by both spouses or partners, including assets brought to the marriage, and that all future acquisitions will also be jointly owned. Upon death, the property is transferred to the surviving spouse. Various exceptions are included to cover future circumstances that may interfere with the good intentions of having a community property agreement.
As a form of estate planning, a community property agreement can prevent surviving family members from arguing over the rightful ownership of property upon your death. Community property agreements allow the quick transfer of assets to a surviving spouse or registered domestic partner without probate proceedings. Only married couples and registered domestic partners can enter a community property agreement under Washington law.
Washington state law regarding community property contracts (RCW 26.160.120) is complex. With Ms. Rydberg's knowledgeable assistance, the document may be more likely to stand up to a legal challenge. Washington state also recognizes quasi-community property. Without a will, assets acquired in another state by one spouse may be considered community property in Washington. It is important to address any assets brought to the marriage or registered domestic partnership and whether they should be designated as joint or separate.
Get Help Today
Schedule a consultation by contacting Ms. Rydberg through this website or by phone at 425-235-5535. She provides one-on-one, personalized service to put clients at ease and put their best interests in writing.