Thomas R. Andrews, Washington's New Quasi-Community Property Act: Protecting the Immigrant Spouse, Community Prop. J., Oct. 1988, at 50
Community Property Journal
In 1986, Washington followed the lead of several other community property jurisdictions by adopting quasi-community property legislation. The act is designed to prevent a spouse who has onerously acquired property during marriage while the couple resided in a common law state from disinheriting his or her surviving spouse as to that property after moving to Washington. It has significant implications not only for married couples contemplating a move to Washington, but also for those who have moved to Washington from common law jurisdictions in the past. This article explains why the risk of disinheritance arises, describes the provisions of Washington's legislation, including recent technical amendments, and discusses problem areas that may arise for migrating couples and their attorneys under the act.