How to Probate a Washington Decedent's Estate

for those who have never set foot in a Courthouse


Probate Instructions Site Map



1st Question: Is a Probate Necessary?


The Seven Probate Instruction Alternatives:


1.  Small Estate Affidavit

(For up to $100,000 of Personal Property only)


2.  Adjudication Proceeding

(Determines "Who Gets What" but No Personal Representative Appointed)


3.  Traditional Probate with Nonintervention:

The Simple Version:

Washington Probate "for Dummies"

Simplified instructions & forms for a typical simple estate, whether with or without a Will.


4.  Traditional Probate with Nonintervention:

The More Detailed Version


     A.  Opening the Probate Estate

           1.  Preparing for Court

           2.  Going to Court

           3.  Giving Notice of Appointment


     B.  Administering the Probate Estate

           1.  Opening an Estate Checking Account

           2.  Preparing an Inventory

           3.  Handling Creditor's Claims

           4.  Handling Tax Issues

           5.  Making Preliminary Distributions

           6.  "Housekeeping" Issues


     C.  Closing the Probate Estate


5.  An Insolvent Decedent's Estate

(More debts than assets)


6Administering Nonprobate Assets

(Assets that pass "Outside of Probate")


7.  Election upon the Death of an Intestate Ward

(Rare: Decedent has a Guardianship & dies without a Will)


If you are unclear about which of the above
is right for you, see: Is a Probate Necessary?



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Last Update: December 25, 2008


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Small Estate Affidavit

Adjudication Proceeding




Probate for Dummies

Washington Probate Kit

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