Washington Law Review


Bruce Lamka


This note presents two analyses of the Olson decision. Under the first analysis, the amended Initiative is interpreted to require a writing executed by the marital community in order to convert property from community to joint tenancy ownership. It is argued that this interpretation is unreasonable and will produce an unsatisfactory result in some cases. The second analysis is based on community property law: both spouses must participate in the change of ownership because the property rights of both are affected. This reasoning better supports the Olson decision. It was incompletely developed in the opinion, however, because the court did not squarely decide whether the required participation should be limited to a single joint act of creation. This note argues that a joint tenancy purportedly created by the action of one spouse may be perfected by the other spouse's independent acts of participation unless the acting spouse has effectively repudiated the attempted creation.

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