Washington Property Deed Attorney

What You Need to Know About Property Deeds Law in Washington State

Are you looking to purchase property, transfer an existing property, or add a name to a deed in Washington State? If so, it’s important to understand the laws concerning land ownership and title in the state. Without proper legal counsel and advice, it’s difficult to ensure that your property rights are adequately protected.

At Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, we have been providing professional legal guidance for over 45 years. With a deep understanding of Washington’s property deeds law and regulations, our experienced attorneys can provide you with the expert advice you need.

In this article, we will discuss the key elements of Washington’s property deeds law and how you can ensure that your rights are protected as a homeowner or seller. We will also explain how an experienced attorney can help you along the way.

Overview of Washington Law for Property Deeds

Washington State law dictates that property deeds and their ownership must be recorded in the county where the property is located. That includes all transfers of real estate, whether it’s a sale, gift, or transfer as part of a marital settlement agreement.

If you’re interested in transferring property via a deed in Washington State, understanding the following points of law is essential to ensure the validity of your deed:

  • Any deed for transfer of real estate must be signed and acknowledged by the parties to it in front of a notary public.
  • All parties to the deed must sign it in person, or they can appoint an attorney-in-fact who is authorized to sign on their behalf.
  • The deed must contain certain elements, including an accurate legal description of the real property.
  • The deed must be recorded with the county auditor serving as custodian for the record.
  • All deeds transferring real estate must include an affidavit from all parties acknowledging receipt of consideration and disclaiming homestead rights (if applicable).

By understanding these points, you’ll be able to ensure your deed meets all requirements and is valid under Washington State law.

Approaching A Sale or Transfer of Property Deeds – What Documents Must Be Present?

When you are seeking to transfer property in the state of Washington, it is important for both parties to understand the ownership rights associated with deeds. When it comes to the sale and transfer of property within Washington State, as in most other states, you will typically need a deed that is recorded by a recording officer of the county where the real estate is located.

The deed must be signed by all parties involved and sealed under applicable law before being delivered to the county auditor and then recorded. Generally speaking, there are four key documents that are important with regard to the sale or transfer of property deeds:

  • A grant deed: A grant deed is used when an owner intends to pass beneficial title from one party to another.
  • A warranty deed: This document is used when a seller (the grantor) wants to guarantee that the title has not been transferred before.
  • A quitclaim deed: This type of deed is helpful when a clear title cannot be given – and can be used when there is a doubt as to who actually holds title in a certain situation.
  • An assignment of deeds of trust or mortgage assignment: This document transfers an interest in a mortgage or trust deed from one party to another endorsement on that instrument or through an assignment executed separately from it.

It’s important for both parties who are involved in any type of real estate transaction to understand which documents need to be signed, sealed, and recorded by the county auditor’s office before they may proceed with their transaction.

How to Register a Property Deed in Washington

Registering a property deed in Washington State is a vital process that must be completed in order to ensure the legal protection of any ownership claims you may have.

At Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, we know that the process of registering a deed can be tricky. We specialize in property law, and can help you navigate the complexities and ensure that you are adhering to all state laws.

Below are a few of the most important things you need to keep in mind when registering a deed in Washington State:

  • Gather the necessary paperwork – In order to register your deed, you’ll need to provide your name, address, and your current and past deeds for review. You’ll also need to provide an Affidavit of Identity or Acknowledgement form signed in front of a notary public.
  • Obtain your county auditor’s approval – Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary paperwork, you’ll need to get it approved by your county auditor before it can be recorded. Your local county auditor’s office will be able to provide any additional information or documents required for approval.
  • Pay registration fees – In some counties, there is an additional fee for registering deeds; however, this fee is typically minimal given the importance of documenting any ownership claims.
  • Record your deed – Once all paperwork is completed and approved by the county auditor’s office, it must be recorded with the county recorder or court clerk’s office that serves your area before it is considered legally valid and enforceable.

Our team at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess has years of experience dealing with property law matters.

What Should You Expect from An Experienced Washington Property Deed Lawyer?

Looking to hire an experienced Washington property deed lawyer? A good lawyer should be able to provide a comprehensive legal review of your deed documents, explain the complexities of the industry, and provide clear guidance on how to move forward.

Here are a few specific things you can expect from a top-notch property deed lawyer:

  • Drafting and reviewing documents in accordance with Washington State laws.
  • Outlining transfer policies, procedures, and restrictions in order to ensure compliance with local ordinances and laws.
  • Identifying potential risks or liabilities associated with property transfers.
  • Providing timely updates regarding any changes that could affect ownership rights.
  • Developing strategies for resolving disputes quickly and efficiently.

When you enlist the services of Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, you can trust that our team of experienced property law professionals will be able to provide these services and more, helping you make informed decisions about your property deeds in Washington State law.

Recent Legislative Update on Deed Registration Software

Washington property owners should be aware of the new changes to the law that took effect in 2020, as they may now be required to use a Deed Registration Software when transferring real estate ownership.

The new regulations mean that anyone wanting to transfer ownership of a property must use an online deed registration software, which is designed to make the process more secure, accurate, and efficient.

The software is also meant to protect against fraud and errors that may occur in the manual filing process. The platform uses digital signature technology, which requires authentication from both parties in order for a deed to be legally accepted.

Additionally, information about the transaction will be stored on a blockchain-based platform, meaning it will be securely tracked and stored within the public ledger available for verification.

By making sure all deed transfers are properly verified and recorded with this secure software, Washington property owners can ensure that their interests are protected when transferring real estate ownership.

Penalties for Not Properly Transferring a Property Deed

The laws in Washington State are clear when it comes to not properly transferring a property deed – failure to do so can result in serious penalties. When you transfer property, you must be absolutely certain that all the paperwork is done properly.

If you fail to do this, you could face the following penalties:

  • Fines of up to $1,000.
  • Paying up to three times the amount of any unpaid taxes or assessments.
  • Being forced to pay the legal fees of anyone involved in enforcement proceedings.
  • Revocation of any existing permits related to the property.
  • Having your name placed on the judgment lien list.

At Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, our lawyers are knowledgeable about Washington State’s property deeds law and can ensure that your deed is transferred properly and without delay. Avoiding potential penalties and legal action starts with having an experienced attorney on your side who understands all aspects of real estate law.

Frequently Asked Questions

When dealing with property deeds in Washington State, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. But never fear – Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess is here to answer some common questions and help you navigate the legal landscape.

What Is a Property Deed?

A property deed is a legal document that acts as evidence of ownership of real estate. It specifies who has the right to possess, use and enjoy the property, as well as the responsibility for paying taxes on it.

How Do I Transfer Ownership of Property in Washington?

The process for transferring ownership of real estate in Washington state involves filing a deed with the local recorder’s office. The deed must include information about the parties to the transaction, such as names, addresses, and signatures. It must also include a legal description of the property being transferred.

Are There any Special Requirements for Deeds in Washington?

In Washington State, certain types of deeds require additional information and/or forms in addition to what is listed above. For example, transferring an interest in an LLC would require a Certificate of Transfer or Assignment document in addition to the deed itself. An experienced attorney from Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess can help you understand if any additional documents are necessary in your specific case.

These may not be your only questions; our attorneys will discuss your specific concerns in your initial consult.

Why Choose Us?

At Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, our team of experienced attorneys understands the complexities of property deeds law in Washington State. We are dedicated to protecting you and your investments as you negotiate changes to property titles or pursue new real estate ventures.

What Sets Us Apart from Other Legal Firms?

Expertise in Property Law

Our attorneys have decades of combined experience handling complicated real estate matters, including deeds and document drafting, development, environmental law compliance, and more. We keep up-to-date on all of the state laws, local ordinances, and rules governing real estate transactions so that we can offer sound legal advice.

Comprehensive Services

We offer comprehensive services under one roof with a full-time staff that includes a paralegal, a professional investigator, and two legal assistants. We also work with a network of experts in every field related to real estate law to ensure that our clients receive the most comprehensive services possible.

Superior Client Experience

We focus on personalized service that is tailored to meet each client’s individual needs. Our team is available 24/7 to answer questions and provide assistance when needed. From start to finish, we provide superior client experiences centered around our personalized approach with an eye toward quick resolution of cases and maximum client satisfaction.


Whether you are transferring ownership of a property or adding a beneficiary, the deed transfer process can be complex and mistakes can be costly. With the right guidance and legal advice, you can navigate the challenges involved in property deeds law in Washington State confidently and efficiently. At Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, our experienced attorneys are knowledgeable in Washington property deed law and can help you understand the rights and obligations associated with a deed transfer to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Contact us today to learn more: Seattle – (206) 621-1110 / Tacoma – (253) 572-1000 / Olympia (360) 742-3500.

Attorney Robert Dickson

Attorney Robert DicksonThe core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners. His is a practical approach to law, which strives to balance the need for a successful legal outcome with a client’s financial goals (or constraints). Outside of his private practice, Rob serves as an adjunct professor at the Seattle University School of Law where he teaches real estate litigation. [ Attorney Bio ]

    our firm

    Attorney Thomas L. Dickson

    Thomas L. Dickson

    Tom is an experienced litigator and the founding partner of the firm. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients prevail in their real estate, construction, and business law matters.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Heather Burgess

    Heather Burgess

    Heather represents property owners and developers in all phases of real estate development, from pre-acquisition due diligence through local permitting and appeals.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Robert P. Dickson

    Robert P. Dickson

    The core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Daniel J. Frohlich

    Daniel J. Frohlich

    Dan’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and probate law. He has more than 10 years of experience as an attorney serving clients throughout Western Washington.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Mark S. Johnson

    Mark S. Johnson

    Mark’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and family law. He works tirelessly to help his clients achieve the outcome they are looking for.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Trevor A. Zandell

    Trevor A. Zandell

    Since graduating with honors from law school in 2005, Trevor has been serving the legal needs of businesses, individuals, and families across Southwest Washington.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Daniel E. Pizarro

    Daniel E. Pizarro

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Daniel is active in the firm’s civil litigation department. His practice is mainly centered around real estate law, landlord-tenant law, construction law, and probate law.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Alexander J. Wisbey

    Alexander J. Wisbey

    Alexander Wisbey comes to the firm with 5 years of experience as a litigator and trial attorney. He has first chaired several jury trials and has extensive experience handling arbitrations, mediations, depositions, and settlements.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Andrew Hata

    Andrew Hata

    Andrew is the head of our Transactional Department and focuses his practice on corporate governance, real estate transactions, commercial contracts, and corporate finance.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Kelley Duggan

    Kelley Duggan

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kelley practices in a wide range of areas, including estate planning, probate, civil litigation, and intellectual property law.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Cambria A. Queen

    Cambria A. Queen

    Cambria is an Associate with Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess in the civil litigation department, where she practices primarily real estate and probate law.

    attorney profile
    Attorney George Knight

    George Knight

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, George is active in the firm’s civil litigation and transactional departments. His practice is mainly centered around business law, real estate law, construction law, employment law, and probate law.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Chris Pierce-Wright

    Chris Pierce-Wright

    Chris comes to Phillips Burgess Tacoma from Seattle, where he served as an associate attorney focused on insurance litigation with Wilson Smith Cochran Dickerson.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Jennifer Yoo

    Jennifer Yoo

    Jennifer is an associate attorney at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess where her current practice focuses on real estate law, contract and commercial disputes, and business law.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Katherine E. Baals

    Katherine E. Baals

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Katherine practices in a range of areas, including real estate, construction, business, and civil litigation.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Kenneth Chan

    Kenneth Chan

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, PLLC, Kenny is active in the firm’s civil litigation and transactional departments. Prior to working at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kenny was an in-house attorney for a Fortune 100 company.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Brian Buske

    Brian Buske

    Following his graduation from Lewis & Clark Law School, Brian garnered valuable client experience working on international compliance and intellectual property issues.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Kyla S. Bennett

    Kyla S. Bennett

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, Kyla practices in a range of areas, including real estate, land use, and civil litigation.

    attorney profile
    Attorney Matt Wand

    Matt Wand

    Matt was born and raised in East Multnomah County in the Gresham area where he lives and has raised his family. His wife of more than twenty-five years is Anne Wand and they have three children together.

    attorney profile


    I highly recommend Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess and if I ever need a lawyer again they will be my first call.

    - Jeremy H.

    I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate this firm! These guys helped me through one of the most challenging legal situations I’ve faced in my life. Their skill and expertise literally saved my business. I’ve dealt with other counsel in the past but the Dickson firm was by far the most competent and tactful counsel I’ve ever received. I would recommend this group to anyone!

    - Keith D.

    It’s a pleasure to work with the guys at Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess. One of the first things that stood out to me was how down to earth and friendly everyone at the firm is. I would definitely recommend them.

    - Den L.