Evidencing Your Reasonable Review

  1. By Declaration

    RCW 11.40.040(3) provides an optional way by which you may evidence your “reasonable review” for Descendant’s creditors.  To evidence your “reasonable review,” complete, sign, and file with the Court a:

    Declaration re Reasonable Review to Ascertain Descendant’s Creditors

    Timing: Soon after 4 months after first publication of your Probate Notice to Creditors (ie, promptly after the expiration of the four month statutory period).

  2. By Court Order

    RCW 11.40.040(3) also provides a formal, involved, and expensive process by which you may not only evidence your “reasonable review” for Descendant’s creditors but also obtain a Court Order declaring that:

    • You have made the review, and
    • Any creditor not known to you is not “reasonably ascertainable.”

    By obtaining the Order, you effectively bar any further creditor (ie, one that has not already lawfully presented a Creditor’s Claim) from entitlement to estate assets.  Practically speaking, this procedure is seldom used, although it might be advantageous in circumstances of heightened risk due to unknown creditors (eg, Descendant had a history of gambling or business debts, was a likely “deep pocket” Defendant in a negligence action, etc.; Descendant’s records somehow contain evidence of the obligations, and you missed it in your review).

    To obtain the Order:

    • Complete a Petition for Order re Reasonable Review to Ascertain Descendant’s Creditors

      Timing: Soon after 4 months after first publication of your Probate Notice to Creditors (ie, promptly after the expiration of the four month statutory period).

    • Determine when probate petitions are heard at your Courthouse.
    • Select a suitable date and time for the hearing on your Petition, making sure that your proposed hearing date is substantially more than 20 (+3) days into the future.
    • Complete a Notice of Hearing on Petition for Order re Reasonable Review, to Ascertain Descendant’s Creditors — For Publication form.
    • Publish a copy of your Notice of Hearing … for Publication in the county where the estate is being administered and, if different, where Descendant resided at death.

      Timing: At least 20 days before the hearing.

    • Complete a Notice of Hearing on Petition for Order re Reasonable Review, to Ascertain Descendant’s Creditors & Declaration of Mailing form.
    • Mail a copy of the Notice of Hearing & Declaration of Mailing to each person entitled to notice:
      • Descendant’s heirs,
      • Descendant’s beneficiaries,
      • Anyone from whom you have received a Request for Special Notice under RCW 11.28.240, and
      • All the creditors of Descendant listed in your Petition for Order.

      Timing: At least 20 days (+3 more days for giving notice by mail; total = 23 days) before the hearing.

    • At Court, file and obtain a conformed copy of your:
      • Petition,
      • Notice of Hearing … for Publication, and
      • Notice of Hearing & Declaration of Mailing.

      Timing: At least 20 days before the hearing.

    • At least in King County: File Working Copies including a proposed Order with the Probate Department at least 7 days before the hearing.
    • Complete an Order re Reasonable Review to Ascertain Descendant’s Creditors form.
    • Before the hearing, make sure that either:
      • Either:
        • The newspaper in which you published your Probate Notice to Creditors has filed with the Court its Proof of Publication, or
        • You have received from that newspaper its Proof of Publication, so that you can file it with the Court; and
      • Either:
        • The newspaper in which you published your Notice of Hearing … for Publication has filed with the Court its Proof of Publication, or
        • You have received from that newspaper its Proof of Publication, so that you can file it with the Court.
    • Attend the hearing on your Petition.  Assuming no one objects to your Petition, the Judge will likely ask you for a proposed Order.  Hand it to the Judge (or to the clerk for the Judge) for his/her review and signature and return to you.  It would be better practice for you to return the file and the signed Order to the Clerk’s Office and obtain a copy of the signed Order for your records.