Filing & Publishing a Nonprobate Notice to Creditors
- Filing a Nonprobate Notice to Creditors
- Telephoning the Probate Clerk
- Going to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office
- Publishing a Nonprobate Notice to Creditors
- Giving Notice to Washington Department of Social & Health Services (“WDSHS”)
Complete and sign a: Nonprobate Notice to Creditors
Telephone the County Clerk in the county in which Decedent resided at death (Telephone Numbers) and ask to speak to the probate clerk: Determine if there are any requirements specific to that county or other requirements that it would be helpful for you to know before going to Court. For example: Requirement Specific to King County. Complete any of the foregoing requirements that may be applicable to you and set aside any resulting form that you have completed until you go to Court.
- Ask one of the clerks to verify that:
- No Personal Representative has been appointed for Decedent, and
- No one else has filed a Declaration & Oath of Notice Agent for Decedent’s nonprobate estate.
Upon such verification:
- File the originals of the following documents:
- In King County: King County Case Assignment Designation and Case Information Cover Sheet.
- Declaration & Oath of Notice Agent
- If you were appointed as Notice Agent: Agreement Regarding Nonprobate Estate
- If you are a non-resident: Designation of Resident Agent of Notice Agent.
- Nonprobate Notice to Creditors.
- Pay the filing fee & get a receipt for it. Filing Fees & Methods of Payment
- Make sure to bring, and stamp as conformed, a copy of every document that you file.
The Issue: Putting the world on notice that:
- Decedent has died;
- You are serving as Notice Agent for Decedent’s nonprobate estate; and
- Any creditor of Decedent has four months to present his/her/its claim against the estate or be barred.
RCW 11.42.20(2) requires you to publish a Nonprobate Notice to Creditors. To do so:
- You have already completed and filed the Nonprobate Notice to Creditors form. Now, publish a conformed copy of it according to statute (RCW 11.42.020(2)), namely, once each week for three successive weeks in a legal newspaper in the county in which Decedent resided at death.
Timing: Promptly after your appointment as Notice Agent.
- Send the copy to a newspaper for publication: See Legal Newspapers & Costs of Publication for possible newspapers and costs of publication.
- Promptly following the third publication, file an Affidavit of Publication: To obtain the benefits of publishing a Nonprobate Notice to Creditors, RCW 11.42.020 requires a Notice Agent to file an Affidavit of Publication, showing that the Nonprobate Notice to Creditors has been published according to law. Following its third publication, most newspapers, after getting paid, and at no further charge, will prepare and either:
- File the required Affidavit of Publication with the pertinent Court and send you a copy of it, or
- Send you the original of their Affidavit of Publication for you to file.
Caution: When you send your Nonprobate Notice to Creditors to the newspaper for publication, make sure to obtain that newspaper’s policy regarding the disposition of its Affidavit of Publication (ie, will the newspaper mail the Affidavit to you or file it with the Court itself), and after publication, make sure that the original of the Affidavit of Publication is filed with the Court, either by the newspaper or by you.
The Issue: Putting the WDSHS on notice that Decedent has died, so that the Department may file and serve a Creditor’s Claim for recovery of any medical costs and other benefits advanced to Decedent.
RCW 11.42.020(2)(d) requires you to give written notice to the WDSHS. To do so:
- Complete and sign a: Nonprobate Creditor’s Notice to WDSHS & Declaration of Mailing form.
- Add Decedent’s Social Security Number to the form,
- Mail a copy of it to the WDSHS at the address shown on the form, and
- File its original with the Court (with copy for conformation and return to you).
Caution: The Nonprobate Notice to Creditors form is the generic form. The Nonprobate Creditor’s Notice to WDSHS & Declaration of Mailing form, the one referenced immediately above, is a Nonprobate Notice to Creditors form that has been customized specifically to be sent to the WDSHS and filed with the Court along with its self-contained Declaration of Mailing. Make sure that you select the correct form for your intended purpose.