Aberdeen, WA asked in Probate for Washington

Q: Owner of a property died. What paper does his living son need to file in Probate court to put the property in his name

I purchased a property in Tokeland saying that it had a private Well to supply water my water. 3 1/2 years after the sale it has been determined that my water actually comes from an Artesian Well on someone else's property, ( not disclosed in the real estate documents ). The owner of this Well died and his living son now owns the property. Can the son sign a shared Well Agreement with me without going to the Probate court to get the property legally changed into his name first ?.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Keith Armstrong
Keith Armstrong
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Spanaway, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Hi, Aberdeen resident. This is a tricky situation because it deals with who has authority and who has not. First, your access to the water may need some thought so that you can continue water access. There is a good chance you can continue with an agreement with the deceased's estate. Next, the deceased owner's son seems like a likely person to grant permission through the agreement, but he would not have the authority yet. Once the owner died, all of his property, real and personal now belongs to the estate of the deceased not his family or heirs. The son would have to gain title in order to have the authority to sign and exercise the agreement legally. Now WA does not require probate unless land, real estate and estates over $100k exists. You will want to talk to an probate attorney in your area to make sure you go through this process correctly. Otherwise, some creditor, govt or heir may come back and erase all of your efforts. The son would need to get legally on title in order for the agreement for the well water to stick.

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