Getting married in a month and a half. Both me and my fiancé have homes, 401K and other assests. Want to draft a prenup so that all properties and debts acquired before marriage and ancestral property remains indivisible in case of separation. Ho...
I do not believe it is necessarily too late to sign a prenup. In 2012 the Washington Court of Appeals upheld a prenup signed 5 days before the parties married. However, the court noted that the wife, who challenged the agreement after her husband’s death, was represented by independent counsel when she signed it; that her attorney negotiated proposed changes and did not testify that he needed more time to review it. The court also noted that there was no evidence to support her claim that she signed the agreement under pressure and that she acknowledged in the agreement that her late husband had made a full disclosure of assets.
That said, there's a number of cases where prenups signed close to the wedding were invalidated. I've included a link to my blog post on the subject.
The burden will be on the party seeking to enforce the prenup to prove it is valid. In order to increase the likelihood that the court will uphold it, you and your fiance should each have your own lawyer review it with you, and acknowledge in the document that you did not sign under any deadline pressure, had ample opportunity to review it and request any changes before signing.
The challenge may be finding a lawyer who draft one on short notice. Good luck.See question
Children are ages 6 & 8 no fathers are present in their lives. Mother left them by their selves when living with us, came home from work and found them alone in house. Daughter turned them over to us with a temporary custody form that was notarize...
It sounds like any lawyer you hire should look at whether you satisfy the "de facto parent" doctrine, which would allow the court to award custody based only the best interests of the children. Otherwise you would have a higher burden of proof to overcome the natural parents' parental rights.See question
I'll skip the long complicated story and just say that my step daughter was adopted by my fiancee's family when she was very young. Now my step daughter is 13 and after 4 years of creating a solid bond with her dad and I, her adopted parents would...
A nonparental custody case may be more effective than a guardianship, as the latter does not necessarily affect parental rights to make decisions about where the child lives, goes to school, etc. On the other hand, a nonparental custody decree should result in a residential schedule delineating where the child is to live, and grant authority to make medical & educational decisions to the custodian.See question
My daughter was left money to be held in trust until she reaches majority by her grandmother in Australia. Our US bank is asking for a trust document in order to open the account here and says that her will is not sufficient but I cannot determin...
You might be able to resolve this under Washington's Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act, which permits “any issue, question, or dispute involving…the determination of any question arising in the administration of an estate or trust” to be resolved by court order or agreement of all interested parties. It would depend in part on whether Washington can assert jurisdiction over the trust or not.See question
My grandparents passed away in 2009, leaving my father as the executor of the estate. Since then, he has been refusing to sell the estate, preventing all beneficiaries from receiving what was left for them under my grandparents will. Am I able to ...
Assuming this is a Washington estate, RCW 11.76.010 generally requires the executor to file annual status reports. Often they are not filed and no one objects, but in your case you might want to ask for one that includes an explanation as why the estate has not been wrapped up and assets distributed. How your father responds would probably dictate what you do next. There may be extenuating circumstances justifying his inaction, or not, but it would be wise to try to get a formal explanation from him before taking him to court.See question
I am the only surviving child and my father died intestate. The surviving Spouse has signed the consent of person entitled to letters administration and consent to grant of non-invervention powers and waiver of bond and notice re petition for let...
I don't think you can use the small estate affidavit after a PR is appointed, because the statute says that the affidavit must state that "no application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction." In any event, I believe the statute requires the gross probate estate to be under $100,000, not the net estate after payment of debts. And debts should probably be handled by the PR anyway.See question
is there such a thing as an "air tight" prenup that cannot possibly be broken?
Under Washington law, the burden is on the party seeking to enforce the agreement to demonstrate that the agreement is either substantively or procedurally fair. It will be upheld as substantively fair if the court finds that the agreement “provides a fair and reasonable provision for the party not seeking enforcement of the agreement.”
Even if the agreement is not substantively fair, it will be upheld as procedurally fair if the court finds that (1) there was full disclosure of the amount, character and value of the property involved, and (2) the agreement was entered into fully and voluntarily on independent advice and with full knowledge by both parties of their rights. Due to the complexity of the community property laws, the best way to pass the procedural fairness test is for each party to consult with the independent attorney of his or her choice before signing the agreement, and have sufficient time to review it with his or her lawyer before signing it.See question
Last year my mom ended up in the hospital at that time my sister got power of attorney. Since then my sister has taken all my moms money out of her accounts and put the money into her account. She is using the money to pay my moms housing that is ...
You should check whether your more recent POA explicitly revokes the prior POA given to your sister. In any event Washington law (RCW 11.94.090 and .100) gives you have the right to ask your sister to account for assets taken, and to seek a court order compelling her to return them, but this is not something you should attempt to do without a lawyer, as the laws re: gifting of a principal's assets by someone with POA are complicated. Generally speaking, you are correct that "gifting" assets to render your mother eligible for Medicaid will most likely backfire, as gifts made within 5 years of applying result in a period of ineligibility.See question
If the spouse already was the beneficiary of the property, there is no will, it goes to probate, how would they distribute the property? would they automatically force a sale and split it or let her retitle it?
RCW 11.04.015 states that a surviving spouse inherits all community property and half of the decedent's separate property, and the other half goes to surviving issue of the decedent. If the marriage was valid, the nationality of the surviving spouse is not relevant for inheritance purposes (but may be relevant for estate tax issues). If the spouse was specifically designated as the "beneficiary" of a certain asset, she may be entitled to it, but otherwise you would generally need to figure out what is community vs. separate property.
I know WA doesn't have a common law marriage but something else that gives people rights to property... I have been in a relationship going on 4 years. After 7 months of dating and living separately I bought a house and paid down payment etc, whic...
From my blog post on the topic:
Washington does not recognize common-law marriage. However, it has adopted the “committed intimate relationship” doctrine (formerly known as the “meretricious relationship” doctrine), which “is a judicially created doctrine used to resolve the property distribution issues that arise when unmarried people separate after living in a marital-like relationship and acquiring what would have been community property had they been married.”
I have added a link to the blog article, which explains the 3-prong analysis courts use to divide property after a committed intimate relationship ends. You have a couple of potential factors in your favor: the fact that the house was purchased by you before you lived together, and the fact that there is case law to support the proposition that if the house was your separate property at the time it was acquired, and he merely helped pay the mortgage or other expenses while living there with you, then he has been compensated for his "investment" by getting to live in the house, and does not have an ownership interest.See question