Elizabeth Rankin Powell’s Answers

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Tacoma Family Law Attorney.

Contributor Level 20
  1. How long does his family have to clear his belongings out of my rental?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    1 lawyer answer

    First, please accept my condolences on your recent loss. It is my opinion that a person does not "abandon" a tenancy when they pass away, especially if their family is working to gather up his personal property. In the absence of a will, the personal property belongs to his adult children based on WA's intestacy statute. If he did not own real property, it is possible that there is no need for a formal probate. WA has a "small estate probate" that can be used when the decedent's estate is <$...

    9 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. How can our dad gift his house to his kids before Jan 1/13? Would it be enough for him to sign a statement with his lawyer?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    3. Eric Jerome Gold
    3 lawyer answers

    This is an issue for your dad and his lawyer. If there is any hint that this transaction is your idea rather than his, it will not stand scrutiny, especially if he is older and possibly has capacity issues. Real property cannot be conveyed by "statement", only by deed or will. The encumbrances on the property are irrelevant and so is the length of his residency. Elizabeth Powell

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  3. I have lived with & cared for my mother for the past year, & she just passed away. My sister is trying to kick me out. Now what?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Michael S. Haber
    2 lawyer answers

    First off, please accept my condolences on your recent loss of your mother. Apparently your sister isn't being particularly kind, and that doesn't help. Start with Richard Wills' excellent website called Washington Probate Litigation. That can answer a lot of your questions. Were either of your agreements with your sister in writing? if yes, save them. Emails back and forth can qualify as a writing. Here is the thing: this isn't a tenancy that can be terminated through an unlawful...

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  4. What if I cannot show up to court?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Aaron Lukoff
    3. Shawn B Alexander
    3 lawyer answers

    You need to tell each court, in writing, that you have a conflict and cannot be in two separate places at the same time on the same day. Each court will want to see the document requiring your appearance in the other court, so make a copy. If you get to one court at 9am, and get finished, you can likely get to the other court before noon and do it that way. But if you don't advise each court of the issue you are likely to get defaulted and the consequences will be worse than what will...

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  5. Is the landlord responsible for cleaning up black mold growth under WA landlord tenant act

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Mark Randall Arend
    3. Jeffrey Patrick Bassett
    3 lawyer answers

    The previous posters have given you good advice. The only thing I would add is that you could have an engineer come look at your mold, figure out what it is and where it came from. Darrell Cochran in Tacoma just wrapped up a case against the Pierce County Housing Authority about mold. You might want to contact him. There is a specific way to get the County to come inspect and determine whether the problem is so severe that you should be compensated by your landlord. I've published a...

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  6. Can I change a month to month rental agreement to require only cash payments and no dangerous dogs?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Thuong-Tri Nguyen
    3. Shawn B Alexander
    3 lawyer answers

    You have to give 30 day's notice to change terms, and the 30 days has to coincide with the day rent is due. So you could give notice December 1 to be effective December 31. It has to be in writing. If you know that this dog is killing chickens and biting people, have you advised Animal Control? They have a strict protocol for dealing with dangerous dogs. Elizabeth Powell

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  7. My 14 year old son was struck by a car while riding his bike. What do I do now?

    Answered 12 days ago.

    1. Michael David Myers
    2. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    3. Alan James Brinkmeier
    4. Brian Michael Sullivan
    5. Bruce J. Finlay
    6. ···
    14 lawyer answers

    For right now, your son needs medical attention, not legal. I am so sorry to hear of this horrible accident! The police will investigate and make sure you have the information on the driver who hit your son. YOU have three years to file a lawsuit (if necessary). The advantage of waiting is that your son's doctors will have a better sense of his injuries. Expect the driver's insurance company to try to get you to NOT hire a lawyer. You will do much better hiring a personal injury attorney. I'm...

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  8. I moved out of my place August of 2012 and still havent got my deposit back - the office nor corporate will answer my calls

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Kate M Forrest
    3. Mohamed E Seifeldein
    3 lawyer answers

    When you aren't getting anywhere being reasonable and logical, your next step is to ask the Court for help. If your deposit was less than $5,000.00 you can start this process in small claims. If you need help you can hire an attorney to help you, but you are better off starting in small claims. The District Court judges who hear small claims are intimiately familiar with the deposit rules and they have no patience with landlords who fail to follow the rules. If your landlord wants to have...

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  9. Can i attend my Grandmothers Will signing as she is hard of hearing ?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Eric Jerome Gold
    3. James P. Frederick
    3 lawyer answers

    You do not want to be there. The reason that you do not want to be there is because you don't want anyone to think that you unduly influenced her to sign this will. The will is her concern, not yours, and the formalities are critically important to WA courts. The will is none of your concern until she has passed away and the will is admitted to probate for administration. At that point, *IF* you are a beneficiary you are entitled to know what it says, but not before then, under any...

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  10. Can my ex husband use our child's words against me in court when child is under 10 yrs old?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Elizabeth Rankin Powell
    2. Sarah J Jordan
    3. Dave Hawkins
    3 lawyer answers

    Words spoken out of court and offered in court to prove the truth of the matter asserted are hearsay. WA does not have a general exception allowing hearsay to be offered in Court. Pierce County courts are especially offended when a parent attempts to introduce child hearsay. The correct way to do this is to ask the court to appoint a GAL to investigate and report facts back to the court. That is allowed and proper. Courts are very familiar with litigants who attempt to use children as...

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