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

Administering Assets Subject to a Living Trust

While use of a Living Trust for holding title to property should result in the avoidance of a probate regarding all assets held by the Trust, one or more of the following actions may need to be taken regarding the Trust:

  1. Acceptance by Successor Trustee.  If Decedent was the sole Trustee of his/her Living Trust, then the next appointed Trustee needs to accept in writing his/her position as Trustee and take the following actions as regards every asset held by the Trust:
    1. Deliver to its property holder:
      • A certified copy of Decedent’s death certificate.
      • A copy of the Trust provisions appointing the successor Trustee and providing for his/her succession.
      • A copy of the successor Trustee’s acceptance as Successor Trustee.
  2. Pour-Over of Property into the Trust.  If any of Decedent’s property remains outside of the Trust and is to be transferred to the Trust following Decedent’s death, then the Trustee needs to oversee that transfer, for example:
    1. For probate assets that are personal property and whose value does not exceed $100,000: Use a Personal Property Affidavit to make the transfers.
    2. For other probate assets: Receive their transfer from Decedent’s Personal Representative.
    3. For assets subject to a death beneficiary designation (eg, IRA, life insurance, or employee benefit proceeds): Apply to the property holder to make the transfer.