• 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 loan thereon until the lien is satisfied, removed, or otherwise accommodated. The Effect of a Construction Lien. Under RCW 60.04.021, “any person furnishing labor, professional services, materials, or equipment for the improvement of real property shall have a lien upon the improvement for the contract price of labor, professional services, materials, or equipment furnished at the instance of the owner, or the agent or

  • 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 overseen by the court to ensure that the estate is properly administered and can resolve any disputes. If your loved one dies, you may wonder whether probate is necessary for your situation. In Washington State, probates aren’t mandatory. However, while that’s true from a technical standpoint, from a practical one, the majority of estates should absolutely use probate process. In other words, usually it is a benefit to file for probate, even if you do not need to. It is also important to note that while Washington law does not

  • 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 at the time of your death. The probate court will gather all of your probate assets and distribute them according to the terms of your will. If no will was drafted, the assets will be distributed according to Washington State law.1. The process of probating your estate is time-consuming, intrusive, and expensive. It can, however, be avoided with some planning. An attorney can provide you with information on a variety of estate planning tools and

  • What Happens if You Die Without a Will in Washington?

    When you make a legally binding will and testament, you decide who gets your money, real property, and other assets after you die. But what happens if you die without a will in Washington? By law, the state decides who gets your assets through what is called “intestate succession.”  Thus, when you die without a will, you are deemed to have “died intestate.” Under Washington State intestate law, if you die without a will, your assets will go to your relatives, starting with those who are the closest surviving. Not All Assets Are Affected by Intestate Laws It’s important to point out, though, that some important assets may not be affected by intestate succession if you die without a will in Washington. These include assets for which you have