Althauser Rayan Abbarno has represented individuals and companies in our community and across Washington state for more than 75 years. Their attorneys pride themselves on providing the “small town” attention everyone deserves and the “big city” tools everyone should expect. This has made them and their customers successful since 1946.
Althauser Rayan Abbarno’s lawyers are always up to date with the latest laws and technologies that help clients achieve their desired goals. They also see their task in informing their clients and the public about important changes in the law. Althauser Rayan Abbarno wants to share several of these new laws passed by Washington state lawmakers, including laws that digitize legal processes.
Under Senate Bill 5005, corporations may transmit notices and other communications to shareholders and directors by email or other electronic means without their consent. If a company has previously sent notices to a shareholder by post or other non-electronic delivery means, the company must notify the shareholder before moving to e-mail. There are some exceptions where a notification cannot be sent by email or other electronic means. For example, a shareholder can object to receiving email notifications in writing. This objection can be made by post.
For condominium residents, Senate Bill 5011 amends the Washington Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (WUCIOA) to allow homeowner meetings to be conducted by telephone, video, or other conferencing process unless meetings are conducted in this manner the declaration or organization restricted documents.
The Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act (WNCA) was amended by Senate Bill 5034, a 230-page law, to create a more efficient process for the electronic delivery of communications and meeting procedures. Comprehensive rules for members and directors as well as updates to record-keeping and filing requirements with the Foreign Minister have also been included.
If you belong to or work for a non-profit organization, it is important to know about the new changes in SB 5034. This new law affects the attorney general’s capacity and authority to investigate and intervene to protect charity assets. Virtually all aspects of non-profit operations and management are covered in this bill.
Estate planning and inheritance
The changes to the Uniform Electronic Wills Act in Senate Bill 5132 could be the largest legislative change this year. Targeting both wills and trusts, this bill allows testators to execute electronic wills and trusts and enables probate courts to give legal effect to electronic instruments. The law retains the essential required formalities of writing, signature and certification, but makes them electronically executable.
An electronic will must be a record that can be read as text at the time it is signed; signed by the testator or another person on behalf of the testator, in the presence of the testator and on the instructions of the testator; and signed by at least two knowledgeable witnesses at the instruction or request of the testator and in the physical or electronic presence of the testator. The law also specifies who can be a qualified custodian of an electronic will and what legal obligations they have to hand over the electronic will and make an affidavit in relation to those obligations.
In addition, SB 5132 amends the Uniform Trust Income and the Main Law. The legislation deals with fiduciary duties, conversions between income trusts and unitrusts, and adjustments between income and capital. Senate Bill 5132 also changes the Uniform Powers of Appointment Act, which defines donors, power holders, and powers of appointment, as well as other powers and responsibilities.
The new changes to the will and trust can be confusing. If you have any questions about an estate plan, contact the experienced estate and estate attorneys at Althauser Rayan Abbarno. Without competent legal counsel, mistakes can be very costly and can destroy much of your planning intent.
Cases and decisions of the administrative authority submitted in accordance with the Land Use Application Act can be appealed directly to the appellate court instead of the higher court in accordance with Senate Act 5225. The final decision of an administrative authority in judicial proceedings can be checked directly by the appellate court after certification by the higher court. The provisions on a direct complaint procedure expire on July 1, 2026.
Mental health living will
A living will is a document that explains a person’s preferences regarding the psychological treatment of the person in the event of incapacity for work. According to Senate Law No. 5370, the template form for preparing an advance directive on mental health has changed significantly; Removing long-term requirements and adding, changing, and deleting other sections. One of the biggest changes is the ability to allow individuals ages 13-17 to perform advance directives when the individual can demonstrate their ability to make informed decisions about behavioral health care.
Access to lawyers
Access to lawyers and their role in the justice system also changed significantly during the 2021 legislative session. Dependency children are now eligible for an attorney appointment under House Bill 1219; Under certain circumstances, House Bill allows 1,140 young people access to a lawyer (in person, by phone, or video) before the young person waives constitutional rights; and all tenants at risk of eviction under the Residential Landlords and Tenants Act may be appointed to an attorney under Senate Act 5160.
Laws change quickly and it’s important to have a quality legal team by your side. Althauser Rayan Abbarno has offices in Centralia and Olympia and their lawyers are ready to represent you and your business. If you have any questions about these new laws or your case, contact Althauser Rayan Abbarno in Centralia or Olympia by phone at (360) 736-1301 or visit www.CentraliaLaw.com.
This contribution is sponsored by Althauser Rayan Abbarno.
More information about Althauser Rayan Abbarno
Locations: 114 West Magnolia St., Centralia Market Center, Olympia
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday
Phone: 360-736-1301 Website: www.CentraliaLaw.com