When a loved one passes away, it is a difficult time for family and friends. Not only is it an emotional time, but it is also a time when the affairs of the loved one must be settled.
To help you with the legal requirements of settling a loved one’s affairs, you need the advice of an experienced attorney who can review your situation. Working closely with family members or other parties on behalf of the loved one, the attorneys of Luce & Associates, P.S. can assist you with probate proceedings if needed, or provide you with legal guidance for alternatives to probate.
The Probate Process
The legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person is known as “Probate”. This involves resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property to the heirs in accordance with the person’s Will, or if there is no Will, in accordance with the intestate statute. The process is overseen by a Probate court which ensures that everything in done in accordance with State laws and that the estate is distributed correctly.
Under Washington law it is often not required to admit a Will to probate or appoint an Administrator of an estate to settle the affairs and transfer the assets of a loved one who has passed. If there is a requirement to utilize the probate process to settle an estate, we have experienced counsel who can guide you through this process in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
Alternatives to Probate
In some situations, the formal Probate process is not required. For example, probate is not required if:
- there is a surviving spouse and the parties signed a community property agreement
- the parties had a revocable trust agreement
- there is no real property in the estate and there are designated beneficiaries on the bank accounts and life insurance policies
- the property is held with right of survivorship
Our attorneys can assist you with settling the deceased person’s estate properly. Non-probate services include Notices to creditors, transfer of assets, preparation of court Affidavits if needed, and filing & recording documents as needed.