Surviving spouses have protected rights and benefits under Washington state law, including:
- Community Property
- Intestate Share
- Omitted Spouse Rights
- Award Allowance
Surviving spouse rights in Washington center around community property, since Washington is a community property state. Under community property laws, each spouse owns 1/2 of the property acquired during the marriage. Property acquired before the marriage, or received from gifts or inheritances, is considered separate property.
Surviving Spouse Rights In Washington When There Is No Will – Intestate Estate
- All of the net separate estate: If decedent had no surviving issue, parent, or issue of parent, the surviving spouse is entitled to the entire net separate estate.
- 1/2 of the decedent’s net separate estate: If the decedent was survived by issue, the surviving spouse is entitled to 1/2 of the decedent’s net separate estate.
- 3/4 of the decedent’s net separate estate: If the decedent has no surviving issue, but has one or more surviving parent or issue of parents, then the surviving spouse has the right to 3/4 of the decedent’s net separate estate.
Surviving Spouse Rights When There Is A Valid Will
If the decedent died with a valid will, the decedent can direct the disposition of decedent’s 1/2 of the community property and decedent’s separate property.