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WA-Probate > Probate Instructions > Opening the Estate > Venue


Washington Probate Instructions






The Issue: Among all the Courts that have legal authority, and given the particular facts and circumstances of this case, what is the location of the Court that is the most appropriate to hear and decide it?  Venue is discretionary, meaning that so long as the Court has jurisdiction, it can agree to hear a case although it lacks venue.


Essentially, RCW 11.96A.050 provides that the proper venue (ie, location) for the probating of Wills and administering of Decedent's estates is:

Technically, RCW 11.96A.050(3) provides that venue for a probate estate "may be in any county in the state of Washington."  Consequently, a probate estate for a Seattle, King County decedent may be filed in Spokane or Walla Walla or wherever else in Washington besides King County and vice versa:

Bottom-line: Unless good cause can be shown for filing it in another county, a Petition for Letters regarding a Washington Decedent is best filed in the Superior Court in the county in which the Decedent resided at death.



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