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Washington Probate Instructions ---    


1st Question: Is a Probate Necessary?


The Six Probate Instruction Alternatives:

     1. Personal Property Affidavit

     2. Adjudication Proceeding

     3. Traditional Probate with Nonintervention:

           A.  Opening the Probate Estate

           B.  Administering the Probate Estate

           C.  Closing the Probate Estate

     4. Traditional Probate with Nonintervention:
             The Simple Version: Probate "for Dummies"

     5. Administering Nonprobate Assets

     6. Election Upon the Death of an Intestate Ward



Traditional Probate with Nonintervention    


I.  Opening the Probate Estate    

  1. Preparing for Court

    An Official Action Needs to Be Taken Before a Personal Representative Can Be Appointed

    1. Obtaining a Certified Copy of Decedent's Death Certificate

    2. Determining the Proper Court

      1. Jurisdiction

      2. Venue

    3. Filing a Case Cover Sheet

    4. Filing Decedent's Will

    5. Petitioning for Letters

    6. Obtaining Nonintervention Powers

    7. Avoiding Notice of Hearing

      1. Re Petition for Letters

      2. Re Petition for Nonintervention Powers

    8. Avoiding Posting of Bond

    9. Avoiding Designating a Resident Agent

    10. Drafting a Proposed Court Order

    11. Filing an Oath of Personal Representative

    12. Resolving Issues Surrounding Payment of Compensation to You as Personal Representative

    13. Filing a Probate Notice to Creditors

    14. Telephoning the Probate Clerk

  1. Going to Court

  1. Giving Notice of Your Appointment

    1. To Heirs & Beneficiaries

    2. To Washington Department of Social & Health Services

    3. To Washington Department of Revenue

    4. To Internal Revenue Service

  2. "Housekeeping" Issues

    1. Evidencing Your Authority as Personal Representative

    2. Changing Your Address During Administration

II.  Administering the Probate Estate    

  1. Opening a Checking Account for the Estate.

  2. Preparing an Inventory & Appraisement

    1. Print the Inventory & Appraisement form.

    2. Review "Is a Probate Necessary?"

    3. Omit Most Items of Tangible Personal Property.

    4. Omit Partnership Property.

    5. Inventory of Real Property.

    6. Out-of-State Real Property.

    7. Account for Marital Interest.

    8. Make Sure to Inventory Any Claim Against You.

    9. Appraise the Inventory Items.

    10. Unnecessary to File Inventory & Appraisement.

  1. Handling Creditor's Claims

    1. Are All Claims Subject to the Creditor's Claim Procedure?

    2. Why Follow the Creditor's Claims Procedure?

      1. Why Publish a Probate Notice to Creditors?

      2. Why Send Actual Notice to Known Creditors?

      3. Why Insist on a Creditor's Claim for Payment?

    3. What Can "Go Wrong" Even Though You're Doing Everything "Right"?

    4. Publishing a Probate Notice to Creditors

    5. If Decedent Was a Resident of a Different County in Washington at Death

    6. Giving Notice to WDSHS

    7. Conducting a Reasonable Review to Identify Decedent's Creditors

    8. Giving Each Possible Creditor Actual Notice

    9. Determining Whether Creditor's Claims Are Lawfully Presented

    10. Disposing of Lawfully Presented Creditor's Claims

    11. Disposing of Defective Creditor's Claims

    12. Completing the Creditor's Claims Process

  1. Handling Tax Issues

    1. Handling Income Tax Issues

      1. Federal

      2. Washington

    2. Handling Estate Tax Issues

      1. Federal

      2. Washington


  2. Making Preliminary Distributions

    1. What is a Preliminary Distribution?

    2. Reasons for Making a Preliminary Distribution

    3. The Inherent Problem in Making a Preliminary Distribution

    4. Legal Requirement

    5. Practical Requirements

    6. Priority of Preliminary Distributions

    7. Likely Situations for Making Preliminary Distributions

    8. Unusual but Reasonable Situations for Making Preliminary Distributions

    9. "Advantage" of Not Publishing a Probate Notice to Creditors So That the Estate may Be Distributed and Closed Promptly


III.  Closing the Probate Estate    

  1. Are you Ready to Close the Estate?

  2. Closing the Estate - Simply

  3. Closing the Estate - Not So Simply

    1. Declaration of Completion

    2. Notice of Filing & Declaration of Mailing

    3. Final Distribution

    4. Receipt by Heir or Beneficiary

    5. Advantage of Using the "Not So Simple" Method to Close the Estate

  4. Closing "Problems"

    1. You Can't Close Within 12 Months --- Filing a Status Report

    2. Someone Timely Files & Serves an Objection to Your Declaration of Completion

    3. You've Closed but Need to Re-Open the Estate

    4. Is Your Liability as Personal Representative Over Once Your Declaration of Completion Becomes Final?



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