Probate is the process of dealing with the court system in order to carry out the wishes of a person who has died. A probate can be very complicated or quite simple, depending on what sorts of assets a deceased person has, and what kind of plan they had in place. With a good estate plan in place, a probate may be as simple as filing a copy of the Will with the court and being on your way. Without an estate plan, a probate may require many trips to the court to obtain a Judge’s permission for every step along the way.

Some estate plans make it possible to avoid probate completely. This is very important in some States that have an extremely slow or difficult probate process, but is less important in places like Washington where probate is relatively simplified. There are still reasons many people want to avoid probate entirely if possible, for example, a probate is a public process, and many people do not want their personal information to become public when they pass away.

If a person dies with an estate plan that does not avoid probate, then a Court will try to make certain that their desires are carried out as they wished as long as it is allowed by the law.

If a person dies without an estate plan then it is rarely possible to avoid a probate, and in these cases the Court will carry out a set plan called the ‘intestate laws’ which is basically the default setting for how a person’s assets will be divided when they pass away. The intestate laws do not allow for unique or complex plans, and do nothing to avoid estate taxes. Most importantly the intestate laws do not allow you to decide who will inherit your assets.

When a probate process is begun there are some time sensitive steps that must be taken care of as soon as possible. This especially includes providing notice to, and paying creditors.

The probate process may also involve:

  • Naming a Personal Representative of the Estate
  • Selling or Transferring Ownership of Real Estate
  • Distributing Assets to Beneficiaries
  • Forming or Dissolving Trusts
  • And much more...

Every probate looks a little different, because no two people are live exactly the same lives. The safest way to be certain that everything is taken care of efficiently, legally, and with as little unnecessary cost as possible is to speak with an experienced Probate attorney.

Contact us today to discuss your case.

Phone: 206-331-7377

Fax: 206-486-9930

Email: info@findleyrogerslaw.com