Washington, being a strictly construed community property state, often imposes community property laws on couples who intend to keep certain property separate.  Agreements defining assets and debts as separate, community or mixed are extremely important for estate planning, asset protection and in many cases tax planning.

Prenuptial Agreement: Agreement between parties designating how their property is characterized – separate, community, or mixed. Even if a marriage is not anticipated, community property is presumed in WA in many cases, so property agreements are often necessary to avoid the presumption of “community property.”

People should be advised against co-mingling inherited assets until they are advised legally of the implications. Please call Catherine to discuss these important matters.

Community Property Agreement: Community Property Agreements are used to avoid probate at the death of the first spouse. Washington, a community property state, allows the surviving spouse to file a Community Property Agreement stating that all assets are community property and therefore should go automatically to the surviving spouse at the death of the first spouse.