Probate and Estate Administration

  • Probate of Wills
  • Letters Testamentary
  • Intestate Estates
  • Letters of Administration
  • Trust Administration and Termination
  • Creditor Issues
  • Trust Administration and Termination
  • Small Estate Affidavits
  • Transfer on Death Deeds
  • Lack of Probate Affidavit
  • Beneficiary Designations

Probate is the legal process by which a person's debts are paid and assets are distributed  upon their death.  Compared to many other jurisdictions, Washington's probate process is relatively streamlined and there is typically minimal court involvement.  Where the decedent has left a will and named a Personal Representative (sometimes referred to as an "Executor") who is qualified, able, and willing to act, the Court will generally appoint that person and issue Letters Testamentary.  Letters Testamentary are the documents the Personal Representative needs to access the decedent's accounts at financial institutions and otherwise manage and distribute the estate in accordance with the decedent's wishes.  Where the decedent did not leave a will, a family member or other qualified individual may ask the Court to issue Letters of Administration.  Letters of Administration function much the same way as Letters Testamentary.  We can assist you in navigating the process to get the authority you need administer your loved one's estate.

Estate Administration

Estate administration includes the probate process, as well as non-probate transfers of the deceased person's assets.   Probate is often required, but not always.  When the decedent's assets are below a certain threshold and do not include real property (with the possible exception of real property held subject to a "Transfer on Death Deed"), there are other processes available to administer the estate.  In addition, not all assets are subject to probate.  For instance, assets held in a Revocable Living Trust or held jointly by the decedent and another person with right of survivorship, as well as assets that will be distributed in accordance with a beneficiary designation (such as IRA's, 401k's and life insurance policies) are not subject to probate.  We can help you analyze the decedent's estate and determine how the estate should be administered.

When a loved one passes away, the legal process of managing and distributing their assets can feel overwhelming for their families.  Our attorneys have a combined 40 years' experience in estate administration and probate.  We can guide you through the process and ensure that everything necessary is done, and done correctly.

 Contact an experienced, local probate and estate administration attorney you can trust.

Call us at 206-855-9293 today to schedule an initial consultation, or contact us online to learn more.