10 07, 2017

Judicial Foreclosure and Nonjudicial Foreclosure: the Differences

By Thomas L. Dickson, Esq. Used together, a promissory note and a deed of trust embody the most common type of mortgage. The deed of trust is recorded on the borrower’s title securing the note and prioritizing the loan’s position on title. There are only two ways to foreclose on this mortgage: judicially and nonjudicially. Judicial […]

07, 2017

Deciphering the “Lis Pendens”

By Thomas L. Dickson, Esq. Seattle real estate attorneys, real estate brokers, and escrow companies deal with the “lis pendens” from time to time, and many people are not sure what it means. The Latin definition is simply: notice of a pending lawsuit. The Revised Code of Washington defines “lis pendens” as an “instrument having the […]

6 06, 2017

Real Property and “Grandfather Rights” aka Nonconforming Use

By Thomas L. Dickson, Esq. We often hear the expression, “grandfather rights,” when someone’s property is not affected by a land use change while nearly everyone else’s is. In legal parlance, land use attorneys know the term is “Nonconforming Use,” defined as a use “existing lawfully before the rezone of the surrounding area and continues […]

06, 2017

How Contractor’s Registration affects Construction Liens on Real Property Development

by Thomas L. Dickson, Esq. Construction liens are an important part of Seattle real estate law and other high-growth areas of Western Washington. The lien, also called a “mechanic’s lien,” represents a pre-judicial claim against title, and the owner of the land on whom the lien is recorded cannot sell the property or obtain a […]

18 11, 2016

Is Probate Necessary in Washington State?

A common term that you might hear after someone passes away is “probate”. Probate is the process of administering an estate by collecting assets, settling debts, and making distributions to family members. This process is often overseen by a judge who can ensure that the estate is properly administered and can resolve any disputes. If […]

16 11, 2016

Can a Living Trust Help Avoid Probate in Washington?

Thinking about what will happen to your family after you die is unpleasant. For that reason, many people don’t take the time to evaluate the estate planning tools available to them or plan effectively for the distribution of their assets . Unless you have taken steps to avoid it, your assets will go into probate […]

14 11, 2016

What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Washington?

What happens to your assets after you die depends on individual state laws and whether or not you have will or not at the time of your death. If you die in the state of Washington without a will, your assets will go to your closest relative under Washington‘s intestate succession laws. Not all your assets […]

12 11, 2016

Steps in Administering an Estate

Many people think that by making a will, they are taking the burden off of their family members when it comes to estate administration after their death. However, property does not magically distribute itself and there are actually several components to closing an estate. While these steps will vary depending on the nature and complexity […]

10 11, 2016

Role of a Will in Probate

When a person dies, one of the first steps you should take is to determine whether or not they drafted a last will and testament during their life. If a will exists, Washington State law1 requires that you file it with the probate court within 40 days of the death. For this reason, the existence […]

7 11, 2016

Inventory of Assets in a Probate Case

In order to administer someone‘s estate, the personal representative must first understand the nature and amount of assets and property that needs to be distributed. Taking inventory of assets is one of the first and most important–yet often complicated–tasks in the probate process. While some assets or property may be specifically mentioned in a will, […]