Arcata, CA asked in Probate for Washington

Q: Is there any reason to "leave probate open as long as possible" ? Does it benefit the heirs or the attorney?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael D. Whipple
Michael D. Whipple
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Spokane, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Generally, no. Washington law requires personal representative to act in an effective manner in the best interests of everyone with a stake in the estate (creditors and heirs, alike).

RCW 11.48.010

General powers and duties.

It shall be the duty of every personal representative to settle the estate, including the administration of any nonprobate assets within control of the personal representative under RCW 11.18.200, in his or her hands as rapidly and as quickly as possible, without sacrifice to the probate or nonprobate estate.

That being said, an estate may stay open longer with good reason. For example, may a real property might sell for significantly more money if it is listed in the spring rather than mid-winter. There would be a good argument for doing so, in that case.

Michael Whipple

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