Personal Effects

If a person dies outside their residence, in the absence of family, or has no family any personal property on the decedent may be taken to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office. If the decedent died while in the hospital or nursing home the personal property is generally safeguarded at the facility. In some instances, the personal effects may be turned over to the law enforcement and retained as evidence. 

Claiming Personal Effects
Personal effects obtained at the scene by an investigator will only be released to the immediate legal next of kin, person designated in writing by the legal next of kin, or the funeral home designated by legal next of kin.

The legal next of kin must present government issued photo identification. If the property is to be released to someone other than the next of kin or funeral home this office requires written permission and photo identification from both parties. Please contact our office if you have any questions.

Personal effects are kept in a secure area. Release occurs during business hours and an appointment is required. Please call 425-438-6200 to schedule an appointment. 
 
Unclaimed or Abandoned Property
The Snohomish Medical Examiner office follows the RCW 36.24.130 directions regarding unclaimed or abandoned property.
  • All money not claimed within a 30 day period shall be turned over to the Snohomish County Treasurer's Office. Claims for money turned over to the County Treasurer should be made at that office.
  • Property not claimed within 180 days shall be turned over to the county for auction.
  • Unclaimed property of little or no economic value at auction will be destroyed after 180 days.
  • Property that is illegal to possess is destroyed.