FAQs

What Are Nonintervention Powers?

By |2020-05-19T17:48:13-07:00May 19th, 2020||

These powers allow your personal representative to manage your estate without having to seek court permission to do simple tasks, such as selling assets, paying bills or distributing assets to beneficiaries. It is the key to Washington’s efficient probate system. Without it, your personal representative would need to file pleadings and ask permission from the court

What is a Letters Testamentary?

By |2020-05-19T17:47:19-07:00May 19th, 2020||

When a person is appointed by the court to serve as personal representative, the clerk will issue that person Letters Testamentary. This is a one-page document that can be used by the personal representative as proof that he or she has been appointed by the court and has the power to administer the estate.

What is Inventory?

By |2020-05-19T17:46:20-07:00May 19th, 2020||

An inventory is a list of assets that the decedent left behind with each item valued as of the date of death. Washington law requires the inventory to be separated by (1) real property, (2) stocks and bonds, (3) mortgages, notes and other written evidence of indebtedness owed to the decedent, (4) bank accounts and

Who Are Heirs?

By |2020-05-19T17:45:30-07:00May 19th, 2020||

The heirs of an estate are those individuals who are entitled to inherit your estate if you have no will. In such cases, Washington law describes how your estate should be distributed. For instance, under this law, your spouse would inherit all community property, and your separate property would be split between your spouse and

What’s a Health Care Directive? (Living Will)

By |2020-05-19T17:44:21-07:00May 19th, 2020||

A health care directive informs doctors and your family regarding your preferences and directions for the administration and withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment in the event you have a terminal illness and you cannot speak for yourself or if you are in a permanent unconscious condition. These documents can vary in complexity, and can also

What are General Bequests?

By |2020-05-19T17:42:52-07:00May 19th, 2020||

A general bequest is a gift that must be paid out of the general assets of the estate. For example, a gift of $5,000 to a charity or a family member is a general bequest.

What’s a Guardian ad litem?

By |2020-05-19T17:41:48-07:00May 19th, 2020||

A guardian ad litem is a person selected by the court to investigate issues on behalf of a child or incapacitated adult. If a probate is started in Washington, the court is required to appoint a guardian ad litem to look after the interests of any heir or beneficiary who is under the age of

What’s a Guardian?

By |2020-05-19T17:40:34-07:00May 19th, 2020||

A guardian is a person appointed by the court to manage the financial and/or healthcare affairs of a person who lacks the capacity to manage his or her own affairs. The court can select a person or a professional guardianship company to serve in this role, although often it is a close relative or friend

What’s a Disclaimer?

By |2020-05-19T17:39:24-07:00May 19th, 2020||

A disclaimer is a written document in which someone rejects all or part of an inheritance. This document must be signed within nine months to be effective.

What’s a Declaration?

By |2020-05-19T17:38:31-07:00May 19th, 2020||

A declaration is an unsworn statement that has the same validity under Washington law as a sworn statement. To be a valid replacement for a sworn statement, however, the written statement or declaration must include language certifying the declarant’s understanding that the declaration is made under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state

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