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Estate of Borghi

Supreme Court of Washington
219 P.3d 932 (2009)


Jeanette and Robert Borghi were married. Jeannette purchased some real estate prior to the marriage. The deed for the property was not executed until after the marriage. The deed was drafted by a development company, and listed the owners of the real estate as both Robert and Jeanette, as husband and wife. Jeanette died intestate, and was survived by Robert, and by Jeanette's son from a previous marriage, Arthur. Robert (plaintiff), as personal representative of Jeanette's estate, petitioned the court to determine the ownership rights to the real estate. Robert and Arthur (defendant) agreed that before the marriage the property was Jeannette’s separate property. The court commissioner found that at the time of Jeanette’s death the property was Jeanette and Robert’s community property, and that it therefore passed to Robert under the laws of intestate succession. Arthur appealed, arguing that the property was Jeanette's separate property and that he therefore had a one-half ownership interest in it. The court of appeals reversed, finding that the real estate was Jeannette's separate property, and the estate appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stephens, J.)

Concurrence (Madsen, J.)

Dissent (Owens, J.)

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