Q: In WA, What do I file to take immediate control of father's estate?
My stepbrother moved into my father's house last year after being evicted. Claimed to be caregiver, but after my father had a couple hospital stays due to bed sores, etc, I sold my house and moved in to finished basement about a month prior to his death. While I was with my father at the hospital while he lay dying, my stepbrother changed the locks and took control of all my father's documents, his wallet, etc and refuses to let me back in or give me his records. What do I need to file to gain control of estate? I can't file probate until the death cert is signed which could take a week. My father died intestate and I am his only bio child, but stepbrother keeps signing paperwork for him and making decisions without showing proof of POA but telling people he has it. No POA was signed.
The typical way to gain control of his probate would be by initiating a probate, but, as you indicated, that requires a final death certificate.
The court can appoint a special administrator if there is something critical that must be addressed before a personal representative can be appointed (RCW 11.32 https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=11.32&full=true). I would suggest you discuss this with a local probate attorney.
Powers of Attorney are only effective while the person who executed them is living. As soon as someone dies, the power of attorney ceases to be effective.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.