2018 Revised Code of Washington
Title 11 - PROBATE AND TRUST LAW
11.80 Estates of absentees.
11.80.010 Petition—Notice—Hearing—Appointment of trustee.
RCW 11.80.010 Petition—Notice—Hearing—Appointment of trustee.
Whenever it shall be made to appear by petition to any judge of the superior court of any county that there is property in such county, either real or personal, that requires care and attention, or is in such a condition that it is a menace to the public health, safety or welfare, or that the custodian of such property appointed by the owner thereof is either unable or unwilling to continue longer in the care and custody thereof, and that the owner of such property has absented himself or herself from the county and that his or her whereabouts is unknown and cannot with reasonable diligence be ascertained, or that the absentee owner is a person defined in RCW 11.80.120, which petition shall state the name of the absent owner, his or her approximate age, his or her last known place of residence, the circumstances under which he or she left and the place to which he or she was going, if known, his or her business or occupation and his or her physical appearance and habits so far as known, the judge to whom such petition is presented shall set a time for hearing such petition not less than six weeks from the date of filing, and shall by order direct that a notice of such hearing be published for three successive weeks in a legal newspaper published in the county where such petition is filed and in such other counties and states as will in the judgment of the court be most likely to come to the attention of the absentee or of persons who may know his or her whereabouts, which notice shall state the object of the petition and the date of hearing, and set forth such facts and circumstances as in the judgment of the court will aid in identifying the absentee, and shall contain a request that all persons having knowledge concerning the absentee shall advise the court of the facts: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That the court may, upon the filing of said petition, appoint a temporary trustee, who shall have the powers, duties and qualifications of a special administrator.
If it shall appear at such hearing that the whereabouts of the absentee is unknown, but there is reason to believe that upon further investigation and inquiry he or she may be found, the judge may continue the hearing and order such inquiry and advertisement as will in his or her discretion be liable to disclose the whereabouts of the absentee, but when it shall appear to the judge at such hearing or any adjournment thereof that the whereabouts of the absentee cannot be ascertained, he or she shall appoint a suitable person resident of the county as trustee of such property, taking into consideration the character of the property and the fitness of such trustee to care for the same, preferring in such appointment the spouse or the domestic partner of the absentee to his or her presumptive heirs, the presumptive heirs to kin more remote, the kin to strangers, and creditors to those who are not otherwise interested, provided they are fit persons to have the care and custody of the particular property in question and will accept the appointment and qualify as hereinafter provided.
[ 2008 c 6 § 932; 1972 ex.s. c 83 § 1; 1965 c 145 § 11.80.010. Prior: 1915 c 39 § 1; RRS § 1715-1.]
Part headings not law—Severability—2008 c 6: See RCW 26.60.900 and 26.60.901.
Special administrators: Chapter 11.32 RCW.