Estates are exempt from seller’s disclosure forms | Just Ask Jan

Dear Jan: We recently lost our daughter. We have been told that we need to sell her home to settle her estate.

Dear Jan: We recently lost our daughter.  We have been told that we need to sell her home to settle her estate.   We know so little about the house as it is in a different town than ours.  We don’t want to misrepresent things but are at a loss as to how to fill out the seller’s disclosure statement; marking “don’t know” on each box doesn’t feel right. Have you dealt with this issue before and what do you suggest?  — GW

Dear GW: First, my condolences. I am sorry for your loss.

In regards to the seller’s disclosure form, I have good news for you; estates are exempt from filling them out. They are exempt for the very reason you talked about: How can you answer questions about the home when you did not own it or live in it? The state law took that into consideration when it was created.

For other readers, let me explain. The form has check boxes next to each question, i.e. Has the roof leaked within the last five years? The boxes are for Yes, No or Don’t Know.

I always tell my sellers, “What you don’t know you can’t be sued for. What you do know and hide, that is a different issue. Fill out the form to the best of your knowledge.”

It is a good law that protects the buyer. A buyer has three days from the receipt of the form to rescind from the transaction if they don’t like what is disclosed in the statement.

Choose a good real estate broker to help you through the process. I hope this puts your mind at ease. 
— Jan

— Jan Zufelt is a real estate columnist for the Kingston Community News. Contact her at


More in Business

Port Orchard restaurant at in-dining standoff with state over COVID restrictions

State attorney general seeking temporary restraining order against That One Place

Sound offers grants to help local businesses with advertising

EVERETT — Sound Publishing has launched a local stimulus program to help… Continue reading

That One Place penalized by state board for COVID-19 infractions

Port Orchard restaurant has its liquor license suspended for 180 days

Fred Meyer store reports having nine employees with COVID-19

Business says it is taking ‘extensive measures’ to keep store safe for employees, shoppers

Sweet memories greet visitors to Port Orchard’s The Candy Shoppe

Nostalgic candies and seasonal fudge smells are part of store’s alluring treats

Gingerbread House contest, Senior Giving Tree at Port Orchard Market

… and Santa will visit downtown Port Orchard location later in December

Rainy Daze is hosting a Pints for Purpose Event Nov. 28 raising money for Fishline's Christmas Child program.
Fundraiser Saturday for Christmas Child Program

Grab a pint and do some good at Rainy Daze Brewing in… Continue reading

Downtown businesses are bracing for a harrowing holiday season

COVID-19 fear, state-mandated restrictions will likely gouge holiday profits

Sylling’s Elderberry wins edg3 FUND’s Innovation Award

Campfire Coffee of Tacoma wins grand prize of $25,000

Scarecrows will be out on Bay Street this Halloween

Visitors can vote for their favorite at a downtown business

Two Port Orchard businesses named edg3 FUND finalists

Winning small business will be awarded $25,000

City extends CARES business rental relief funding
City extends CARES business rental relief funding

Almost $100,000 delivered already to more than 20 local businesses