Community Property Survivorship Agreement Washington

If you are married and living in Washington state, you may have heard of a community property survivorship agreement (CPSA). This legal document allows spouses to bypass probate and inherit each other`s assets without the need for court involvement. Here is a closer look at what a CPSA is and how it works in Washington.

What is a Community Property Survivorship Agreement?

A CPSA is a contractual arrangement between spouses that designates their community property as survivorship property. Washington is a community property state, meaning that spouses own all assets acquired during the marriage equally. A CPSA allows the surviving spouse to automatically inherit the deceased spouse`s half of the community property without going through probate.

How Does a CPSA Work in Washington?

To create a CPSA in Washington, both spouses must sign and acknowledge the agreement in front of a notary public. The agreement must also be recorded with the county auditor where the spouses reside. If the spouses have any separate property, they can also include provisions in the CPSA for how it will be distributed upon death.

Once a CPSA is in place, it remains effective until one spouse revokes or terminates it, or until the couple divorces. If one spouse dies, the other spouse automatically becomes the owner of the deceased spouse`s half of the community property, without the need for probate or court involvement. This can be especially helpful for couples who own real estate, as it avoids the need for a separate transfer on death deed.

Why Consider a CPSA?

There are a few reasons why a CPSA may be a good option for certain couples. First, it can save time and money by avoiding the probate process, which can be costly and time-consuming. Second, it allows spouses to ensure that their assets pass to each other automatically, without the need for a will or other estate planning documents. This can be especially important for couples who may not have other family members or beneficiaries they want to leave their assets to.


A community property survivorship agreement can be a useful tool for married couples in Washington state who want to ensure that their assets pass to each other automatically. If you are considering a CPSA, it is important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with Washington`s laws and can help you create a document that meets your specific needs.