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Christopher S. Mulvaney, Esq.

In 2014, the Washington State Legislature enacted the Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act (RCW 64.80).

Recording requires you to pay $204.50 per recorded deed (plus postage for delivery and return to you) and wait months for the original (you can’t print out a copy) to be recorded by mail. That is why I paid to belong to an electronic recording service that has a membership fee and a per document fee, so that I can record a copy for you in 1-2 days for $250 payable by credit card at this LawPay Link. A Quitclaim Deed costs $300 to record because of the preparation and recording of the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit (REETA).

You can execute the Transfer on Death Deed (TODD) via DocVerify. If you don’t have legal insurance, the cost of preparation of the TODD is $250 for a total cost of $500 including recording. If you complete and return the attached form then I can look up the parcel number and legal description and email you a draft for your review.

The Transfer on Death Deeds (TODD) is a legal method for avoiding probate, not taxes.  Washington state is a “no probate” state; meaning as long as no real estate is in the Estate, and the Estate contains $100,000 or less, then no probate is required to be filed.  

The Beneficiaries will still need to complete and record the Real Estate Excise Tax Affidavit (REETA) even though no excise tax will be owed. This was true even before 2014 when the TODD statute was enacted.

A TODD does not avoid estate tax.  The estate tax is a type of transfer tax for which there is not an exemption as there is for the excise tax.  This means any assets transferring at death, such as through a TODD, are taxable for estate tax purposes. 

The IRS explains transfer taxes on their website.  

The biggest difference between a Revocable Trust and a TODD is protection for the Grantor. 

Where a Revocable Trust offers some protections against creditors, a TODD does not.  

While the REETA is submitted to the Department of Revenue by the County, it is sent to the REET section for review.  The REETA is not shared with the Estate Tax section.  If an estate is over the filing threshold of the $2,193,000, it is the executor’s responsibility to file an estate tax return.

Legal Services Offered





While my practice is centered on helping consumers get out of debt and protect themselves and their families in the event of death or incapacity, I am happy to offer additional legal services to my existing estate planning and bankruptcy clients.

Are you worried about mounting debt?

Or facing a Judgment, Garnishment or Foreclosure?

Have you been putting off getting an estate plan for too long?

I offer my clients legal counsel regarding foreclosure, buying and selling real estate, Transfer on Death Deeds, and real estate matters generally.  

MULVANEY LAW OFFICES, PLLC does not do litigation.

Christopher S. Mulvaney’s Mission:

To Always Be a Human Being First – and My Role Second. 

To First, Do No Harm, then to provide the best legal outcome, smoothest process, best value, and to make a positive difference in the life of every client.

Christopher S. Mulvaney’s Mantra:

May I be filled with loving kindness for all life.

May I be safe from dangers within and without.

May I be healthy in body, mind, socially, and spiritually.

May I be at ease and happy doing good in the world.

Every client is an estate planning client. 

Additional services related to debt, bankruptcy, and real estate are available to estate planning clients.

I offer initial ZOOM legal consultations to prospective estate planning and bankruptcy clients for two reasons:

(1) determining if the issues are within my practice areas (the “wheelhouse“), and

(2) determining whether a potential client is willing to let me lead them to the best likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome with the smoothest process of getting there. 


DISCLAIMER:  The use of email or this form for communication with MULVANEY LAW OFFICES, PLLC does not establish an Attorney-Client Relationship. Time-sensitive information should not be sent through this Form or through email.  Confidential information can be uploaded into a shared encrypted folder after you have made initial contact with me.

For more information about my practice in Bellevue, Washington, please consult my Blog.

  • Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Issaquah, Sammamish, Maple Valley, Burien, SeaTac, and throughout King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.

If you have read this far, you may be interested to know what I need to explain to potential clients very quickly which is the intersection in the Venn Diagram above of my practice areas and insurance coverage. As you can see the numbers of case types that are not in my practice areas is large, as is the number of case types that are neither in my practice area nor covered by legal insurance. The intersection is what I call the Wheelhouse. It contains two practice areas – estate planning and bankruptcy that pay all of the bills.

The small miscellaneous bit of my practice which I only do in conjunction with estate planning (bankruptcy is also done in conjunction with estate planning, so every client is an estate planning client. The challenge to me is to quickly explain to prospective clients that the long list of miscellaneous services on the left side of the diagram do not pay the bills – they are simply done to assist my estate planning clients with other matters that are not economical for lawyers to handle in isolation, so they would likely have difficulty finding counsel to assist them.

That is the difference between paying out of pocket by the hour and using flat fee legal insurance. If you are paying by the hour, you have more latitude regarding what the scope of service includes and what it does not. However, if the issue is too small you are not likely to find a lawyer to assist you even if you are willing to pay more than the market hourly rate because many smaller cases interfere with revenue production, increase stress, and increase risk.

That is an important part of why I do what I do the way I do it. There are many lawyers to serve you if you have means, in the manner you wish to be served. However, the majority of middle class and lower middle class people do not have access to legal representation and advice when they need it. In 1979, I heard Jimmy Carter give a speech in which he said that America is over lawyered and under represented. That is more true now than it was then.

I see my niche in the law as representing people in the most economical way possible for the most people, which is through legal insurance. Egalitarian access to legal services affordable by as many people as possible is a value for me. I have the privilege of earning a living in a manner that is consistent with my values. So, if you choose to become a client of MULVANEY LAW OFFICES, PLLC I thank you for allowing me to be who I am in my work, and to serve with my whole self – not divorced from consideration for the good of society in the pursuit of forever more profit.