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

Avoiding Designating a Resident Agent

The Issue:  In order to obtain the State’s grant of authority provided by Letters, a Personal Representative must subject him/herself to the jurisdiction of the Washington judicial system, that is, he/she must be able to become a Defendant of a legal action filed in a Washington Court.  Practically speaking, this means that if the Personal Representative is not a resident of Washington, he/she must designate someone within Washington, known as a “Resident Agent,”  who will receive service of process on behalf of the Personal Representative and the probate estate.  RCW 11.36.010  The Resident Agent is required to be either:

  • A resident of the county of the Court where the probate has been filed, or
  • The attorney of record for the estate.

If you are not a Washington resident and you are appearing pro se (ie, without an attorney), then you will need to designate a resident of the county where the probate is filed as your Resident Agent by completing and signing a:Designation of Resident Agent form, having your appointed Resident Agent sign the Designation consenting to his/her appointment, and then setting it aside until you go to Court.

Decedent’s waiver of Bond in his/her Will includes a waiver of Bond for a non-resident Personal Representative. RCW 11.36.010