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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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