Brent Bowden

Brent Bowden

Genesis Law Firm, PLLC
  • Estate Planning, Business Law, Probate...
  • Washington
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Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Law
  • Probate
  • Landlord Tenant
  • Real Estate Law
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    My hourly rate is $220. Flat rates also available for some services.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Washington
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Professional Experience
Attorney
Genesis Law Firm, PLLC
- Current
Attorney
Purcell Legal & Mediation Services, PLLC
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Assistant City Attorney
City of Seattle
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Education
Vermont Law School
J.D. (2011) | Law
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Honors: Magna cum laude
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University of Washington
B.A. (2006) | Political Science
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Professional Associations
Washington State Bar Association # 44316
Member
Current
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Websites & Blogs
Website
Blog
Business Law
Blog
Estate Planning
Legal Answers
25 Questions Answered

Q. In WA, What do I file to take immediate control of father's estate?
A: The typical way to gain control of his probate would be by initiating a probate, but, as you indicated, that requires a final death certificate. The court can appoint a special administrator if there is something critical that must be addressed before a personal representative can be appointed (RCW 11.32 https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=11.32&full=true). I would suggest you discuss this with a local probate attorney. Powers of Attorney are only effective while the person who executed them is living. As soon as someone dies, the power of attorney ceases to be effective.
Q. my mom is giving my nephew my stepdads house and its not in her name can she do that?
A: If your mom did not have a will, you would have a right to it before your nephew. However, while your mom is alive, she can do more or less whatever she wants with her property. Likewise, she can leave it to whoever she wants in her will. At that point, you would have no right. As far as who owns it now, the finance company does not control that. They also don't really get to choose whose name the property is in. That whole part seems odd. But, assuming your step-dad had a will, he could leave it to whoever he wanted. If he didn't, at least a portion of it would likely be your mother's. Absent a will leaving some portion of the house to you, you would have no interest other than what you might get eventually from your mother.
Q. Can I make a secret will that my husband will not know about until my death?
A: There is no requirement that your husband be aware of your will. But there are risks to a secret or surprise will. In the event you died and your husband survived you, he would be likely to open a probate assuming your old will or as if you didn't have one. If nobody brings the secret will to court, it would be like you never had it. Wills that are surprises are also potentially more likely to result in challenges to their validity. And, lastly, Washington is a community property state, so that impacts what property you can devise in your will and it gives your Husband certain rights with regard to community property. I would suggest that you enlist the help of an attorney if you are considering doing something like this. The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and I nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided by me here without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction.
Q. Is it illegal for a boss to have his family/friends on company payroll even if they don't work for the company?
A: It could be argued that he was sealing money and committing fraud, especially if he turned in timesheets/employment applications/etc that contained false information.
Q. My mom passed away without a will. Her and my dad were married for 49 years. They lived in a house on land that she
A: When somebody passes away without a will, their heirs are determined by what are called the laws of intestacy. Washington's can be found at RCW 11.04.015 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=11.04.015). There will be a question about whether the home is separate or community property or some mix of both. Generally, an inheritance is separate property. But community funds were possibly used to pay the mortgage, taxes, upkeep, etc, which can complicate things. I am not aware of any basis for distinction between the 4 children from the prior marriage and the 3 from the current marriage. I would definitely suggest contacting a qualified probate attorney to discuss these issues. The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Good legal advice will require access to additional facts. You should not act upon information provided here.
Q. How many witnesses do I need present when I sign my will?
A: Two. See RCW 11.12.020 http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=11.12.020 Self-proving wills are easier to probate, but slightly more complicated to execute, as they require specific language and a notary. RCW 11.20.020(2). http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=11.20.020
Q. Husband and wife buy a house together under both there names. They divorce. Husband gets remarried but then passes away.
A: It likely depends on if/how ownership of the house was dealt with in the divorce.
Q. My friend died in the State of Washington without a will. How must her estate be divided?
A: Every state has a set of laws that dictate how property is distributed if there is no will. Washington's can be found at RCW 11.04.015 ( http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=11.04.015 ). The exact distribution would depend on who the parents of the surviving grandchildren were (i.e, are they the children of the surviving child, a deceased child, or two different deceased children). Washington's laws of intestacy dictate a distribution by representation, so each of those possibilities has a slightly different outcome. ( http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=11.02.005 )
Q. My parents just willed me some land and mineral royalties in Louisiana. I want to leave 50% of the royalties to my wife.
A: You can draft a will without a lawyer, but it is important to follow the formalities required by Washington Law (I am assuming you live in WA). Merely having it notarized is not sufficient to create a will in Washington State. RCW 11.12.020 contains the requirements for witnesses. http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=11.12.020 This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship
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Contact & Map
Genesis Law Firm, PLLC
3802 Colby Ave Ste 2
Everett, WA 98201
USA
Toll-Free: (866) 631-0028
Telephone: (425) 212-1789
Genesis Law Firm, PLLC
1833 N. 105th St. #307
Seattle, WA 98133
USA
Toll-Free: (866) 631-0028
Telephone: (206) 535-2900