Skip to main content

If one party in a marriage (separted for 3 years, but not legally) comes into an inheritance, in WA is that community property?

Snohomish, WA |

The wife has taken all money from sold duplex property and her husband (my brother) is paying the taxes on that profit. Our mother just died and our step dad has a will dividing their net worth 4 ways for the four kids (no spouses' names are included).

Attorney Answers 6


  1. I am sorry that you are going through this, you have a good argument that it should not be part of the martial estate given the time, pleas work with a local attny he or she will help you.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


  2. An inheritance even if received during. Marriage is the SEPARATE propert of the person who inherited the property. Your brother needs to seek a local attorneys assistance quickly if he wants to put a stop to the losses. Good luck to him.

    This answer is general information which does not establish any attorney-client relationship between the person asking a question and the person answering, or a duty to respond to ongoing questions; nor is it intended to replace competent legal assistance in the jurisdiction where the matter/issue arises or is before a Court.


  3. I agree with my colleagues that the property is separate. However, the character of the property can change depending on how it is treated once it's received. Your question also has a probate element to it. Just to be clear, the Will your step-dad has is your mother's, correct? Has the Will been admitted to probate in Superior Court?

    I take it there is no pending dissolution action between your brother and his wife? How did the wife get her hands on the proceeds? It sounds like that should never have happened. Your brother's recourse may be through litigation against his wife or the personal representative of your mother' estate. Your brother should consult with counsel about this.

    This answer is intended to provide general guidance only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consider retaining legal counsel if you remain uncertain about your rights.


  4. In Wa. state, and inheritance is considered to be separate property.

    Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements


  5. As this is a question of Washington state law, please make sure you are getting good advice from attorneys who are familiar with and licensed to practice in Washington.

    Inheritance is separate property in Washington unless it is commingled with community assets after you receive it.

    This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit www.justinelderlaw.com.


  6. Property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be community property unless it is acquired by gift or inheritance. From your description, you have no claim on this property.

    This electronic transmission and any documents accompanying this electronic transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender. This information may be legally privileged. The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on or regarding the contents of this electronically transmitted information is strictly prohibited.

Wills and estates topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics