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WA-Probate > Probate Instructions > Closing the Estate > Distributing to an Incapacitated Heir or Beneficiary


Washington Probate Instructions



Distributing to an Incapacitated Heir or Beneficiary (eg, a Minor)



The usual case is a minor, a person who has not attained 18 years of age, although an adult can also lack legal capacity, such as an adult under a substantial disability for whom a guardianship has been established.


The Problem:  In order for you to satisfy your requirements for making distribution, the heir or beneficiary must have legal capacity, and a minor, for example, lacks such capacity.

Net result:  Make sure that if any heir or beneficiary lacks legal capacity, you deal with that person through his/her proper fiduciary.


Distribution Issues:  See RCW 11.76.095 (although note that the statute inexplicably fails to provide for intestate estates distributed under Nonintervention Powers).  Appropriate distributees for the benefit of an incapacitated heir or beneficiary:

If the Decedent has planned for the possible distribution to a minor (eg, authorized distribution to a Trustee or Custodian), the King County Court will usually support that distribution.  If no such planning is evidenced, the King County Court will usually prefer distribution to a blocked account over that to a Custodian.  [Remarks by Commissioner Watness at Ex Parte Practice Tips CLE Program, KCBA, December 15, 2004.]



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