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 Decedent may be filed in Spokane or Walla Walla or wherever in Washington and vice versa:
- Problem #1: The Court, exercising its discretionary powers, could decline to hear it.
- Problem #2: An interested party (eg, a beneficiary, heir, or creditor) could object and request that the matter be transferred to a more appropriate county, eg, King County in the case of a Seattle Decedent. In that case, the statute expressly provides that so long as the request is made within four months after the mailing of the Notice of Appointment of Personal Representative, the Court is required to transfer the matter unless good cause is shown for keeping it in the county as filed.
Bottom-line: Unless good cause can be shown for filing it in another county, a Petition for Adjudication regarding a Washington Decedent is best filed in the Superior Court in the county in which the Decedent resided at death.