Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Washington State Recognizes Domestic Partnerships

WashingtonYesterday (April 21, 2007), Governor Chris Gregoire of Washington signed legislation authorizing domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples if one partner is at least 62 years old.

The legislation will take effect in July.  To register as a domestic partnership, (1) the couple must share a home, (2) each member must not already be married or in a domestic partnership, and (3) each partner must be 18 years old.

According to AP, Wash. State OKs Domestic Partnerships, CBS News, April 21, 2007, domestic partners will have the following rights:

  • Health-care facility visitation rights.
  • Ability to grant consent for health care for a partner who is not competent. Health care providers could disclose patient information to the patient's partner.
  • Automatic revocation of a domestic partner as the beneficiary for nonprobate assets if the partnership ends.
  • Automatic revocation of power of attorney granted to a domestic partner if the partnership ends.
  • Title and rights to cemetery plots and rights of interment.
  • Right to control disposition of a deceased partner's remains, including right to make anatomical gifts, authorize autopsies and consent to remove partner's remains from a cemetery plot.
  • Inheritance rights when the domestic partner dies without a will.
  • Administration of an estate if the domestic partner dies without a will or if the named representative declines or is unable to serve.
  • Making domestic partners beneficiaries of wrongful-death actions. Lawsuits for wrongful death could be brought on behalf of a surviving domestic partner.
  • Requiring that information recorded on death certificates inlude domestic partnership status.


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Do the partners in a domestic relationship have to be registered as domestic partners?

Posted by: mya | Dec 18, 2007 10:01:49 AM

My wife is a co-executor of her mothers estate. The sister co-executor has found fault with nearly everything and has been obstructing, uncooperative, and has stopped progress on fairly simple yet important tasks. The sister became unhappy with the estate attorney and
within the past two months has "substituted" the estate attorney and hired her own attorney. The estate attorney wrote the sister's attorney a letter summarizing to bring him up to date. The sister's attorney has filed a brief on behalf of the sister's co-executor who has managed to STOP things moving forward, requesting the court authorize the sister to proceed with the estate business without my wife as co-executor. It is a non interferance will. Now the sisters attorney has written the estate attorney requesting he withdraw as estate attorney as required by Bar Association Rule 9.1 (a). My wife has done her job. Her sister has refused to act jointly on many issues, even failed topay property taxes causing a delinquency charge. The sister has refused to work with my wife in getting the property listed with NW MLS for six months, and now demands to be authjorized to list with her realtor, on her terms without my wife as co-e xecutor. Now my wife is faced with their request, a court hearing essentially removing my wife as co-executor, and no estate attorney to represent the estate.

The situation is complex, but the only question I have is whether Bar Association Rule 9.1 (a) requires the estate attorney to withdraw, leaving my wife without the estate attorney to represent the estate.

Posted by: Martin | Apr 18, 2008 5:55:29 PM

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