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How can I protect myself and my assets if my alcoholic spouse were to be involved in vehicular homicide or other situation?

Puyallup, WA |

Husband drinks daily. Thinks he's invincible and nothing will happen to him. He drives. He has a CDL. He won't go to treatment With Washington State being a community property state, is there any way I can protect myself and my current and/or future assets in case he were to drive drunk and possible kill someone? Just looking out for myself.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

A post-nuptial agreement, along with a revocable trust to place any assets agreed as your separate property would be a good start. Re-titeling certain assets may also be available depending on what loans are still on your car and/or home.

Regardless, there is still a limited ability for creditors, even in a DUI, to gain access to your share of the community property. In order to do so, your husband must have been acting for the benefit of the community when he was driving. So it will depend partially on the purpose for which he is in the car.

Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC

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Lisa Marie Hammel

Lisa Marie Hammel

Posted

I would also add that you need to make sure that you do not ever hand over your keys to him --- or put them in a place where he has easy access to them --- with this knowledge of his history, or you put yourself at risk for being sued for negligent entrustment. So, for a "belt and suspenders" approach, make sure to hide the keys to your vehicle if you suspect he has been drinking.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

Very good point, Lisa!

Posted

I agree with mr. Johnson. I would add that you should get an umbrella policy with your insurance to cover any severe damages he might cause. Speak to your
Insurance agent about how to get one.

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Posted

Yes, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself. First, you should make sure that you have an experienced attorney helping you come up with a plan of action and then implement it. Things that you could consider include making sure that you have sufficient insurance coverage for yourself, not to mention your spouse, making sure that you are not the owner of any vehicles that your spouse drives - as this could create liability for you, and making sure that your spouse is not the title owner of any of your real property. You should be able to find an attorney in your area by doing a web search for "attorney asset protection". Good luck.

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Posted

Report him if he is drinking and driving, and get this danger off the streets.

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