A Washington Non-Profit & IRS § 501(c)(3)
Dear Website Viewer,
I'd like to tell you about the Washington non-profit and IRS § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation WASHINGTON PROBATE and the website it sponsors, WA-Probate.com, and how they came into being After retiring from my estate and probate specialty practice in Los Angeles, I moved to the Seattle area. In 2000, I began volunteering for the King County Superior Court --- from 2000-05 for its Guardianship Monitoring Project, more recently for its Volunteer Probate Panel, where from 2002-05 I served as the intake attorney for the Court's Probate Contempt Calendar, every 2nd and 4th Wednesday afternoon, and beginning in 2006, I serve as the intake attorney for the Court's Probate Review Calendar every 2nd Thursday afternoon. There, I observed an ongoing need for probate instructions and probate forms --- not only among pro se litigants but for occasional practitioners as well --- for probating and especially for closing a decedent's probate estate. Seeing an opportunity to "give something back," I determined to create those instructions and forms and on March 2, 2003, published my results at this Internet website.
WA-Probate.com & Probate-Litigation.com (for heirs and beneficiaries) are public service websites that provides step-by-step probate instructions and free legal forms for pro se litigants (ie, persons without lawyers) and attorneys who wish to either:
In tandem with the instructions, the website also provides interactive legal forms in Word format, readable with Microsoft Word (or Office, which contains Word, etc.). These legal forms are "Interactive," in that they can be filled in on your computer and then printed out, resulting in a fully-typed, professional-looking document that looks like it might have come from a law office.
Two types of legal forms are provided:
The website also provides additional information, including:
Many have asked "Why are you doing this?" What I can say is "I just enjoy being in Court, doing and thinking and writing about probate, being a part of the process, and every now and then seeing something good come from it for others." As Gregory Bateson once said, "Information is the difference that makes a difference." So I hope that by providing some simple information that may be relevant in your world right now, I can make a difference in your life. To reinforce the pro bono aspect of that message, I have incorporated the website as a Washington non-profit corporation under the name WASHINGTON PROBATE, which qualifies for IRS § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
My goals for WA-Probate.com were twofold:
If in your review of WA-Probate.com, you see anything about it that you think could be improved, either for the public, the bar, or the Court, I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and suggestions. The point of all this exercise is to develop something that works, and works clearly and efficiently for all involved.