Latest in Law

What are Letters Testamentary?

When a person passes away, his or her family and friends are often left with many questions regarding how to settle the person’s affairs. Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. When a person dies testate (with a will), the original will is submitted to the court as part […]

Real Estate Contracts: Pros & Cons

A real estate contract is an alternative mechanism for buying and selling real estate that does not involve a promissory note and mortgage or deed of trust. Instead, a contract is used to create the buyer’s obligation to pay the seller and the seller’s obligation to convey the land to the buyer. Both buyers and […]

What is a Limited Liability Company Operating Agreement?

Washington statute allows the members of a limited liability company to enter into an agreement regarding how the company will be governed, so long as the agreement is not in conflict with Washington statute. See RCW 25.15.050. The operating agreement of a limited liability company provides the rules that the business must follow. The agreement […]

If My Parents’ Estate is Small, is Probate Necessary?

By LUKE O’BANNAN, Legal Intern Washington state has established a method for heirs and beneficiaries of an estate to collect estate assets, pay creditor’s claims, and disburse net assets to heirs or beneficiaries without going through the probate process. See RCW 11.62. Small estates, or estates with a low net dollar value, may use the […]

What is an Easement?

By CHELSEY THORNE, Legal Intern  An easement is a right to use someone else’s land, for a specified purpose, without owning the property.  Kiely v. Graves, 173 Wn.2d 926, 936, 271 P.3d 226, 232 (2012)  Easements fall into two categories: in gross and appurtenant.  M.K.K.I., Inc. v. Krueger, 135 Wn. App. 647, 655, 145 P.3d […]

Wolff & Hislop: Lending a Hand in the Community

On a warm Friday afternoon in June, the attorneys and staff at Wolff & Hislop decided to lend a hand in preventing water pollution in the community. Storm drains in the Spokane area are designed to collect rainwater from streets and parking lots following rain storms and snowmelts. According to the City of Spokane Department […]

Boundary Line Dispute Agreements

By LUKE O’BANNAN, Legal Intern Washington State law allows for straightforward resolution of boundary disputes between neighbors. See RCW 58.04.007. Disputes over boundary lines may arise when public records are ambiguous or a neighbor is claiming ownership by adverse possession. Although the law allows for these disputes to be decided in court, RCW 58.04.007 can […]

Non–Probate Assets: The Perks and Pitfalls

By CHELSEY THORNE, Legal Intern Non-probate assets are property that passes to a survivor by operation of law. These assets “pass on the person’s death under a written instrument…” and are not subject to probate.  RCW 11.02.005.  Non-probate assets include payable on death bank accounts, employee benefit plans, life insurance polices, and conveyances of life […]

I Transferred an Interest in an Entity that Owns Real Estate in Washington. Is Excise Tax Due on the Transaction?

The Washington Department of Revenue imposes excise tax on each sale of real estate. See RCW 82.45.060. The term “sale” includes the transfer of a controlling interest in any entity with an interest in real property located in Washington for valuable consideration. See RCW 83.45.010(2). The transfer or acquisition of the controlling interest must occur […]

If I Die, Will My Step-Child or Adopted Child Inherit From My Estate?

By AARON DUNHAM, Attorney at Law Families may be structured differently, giving rise to different relationships. For example, children can be related to a parent by blood, adoption, or marriage (a step-child).  While the relationship between parents and children may vary by name, a parent may still wish to treat their natural, adopted, and step-children […]