How to Probate a Washington Descendant's Estate ---
To "Do It Yourself" without a Lawyer


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.  See Venue Technicalities.

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

  • For Washington residents: The county of Decedent’s residence at death.
  • For Washington non-residents:
    • The county where Decedent died, or
    • Any county in which the Decedent left property subject to probate or, if none subject to probate, any county in which Decedent left property not subject to probate.

Bottom-line: The proper Court for a Washington resident is the Superior Court in the county in which the Decedent resided at death.