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Washington Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: My wife's father passed away and his will is in Probate, I was told that I couldn't go.

Her sister is the personal representative and has always found a way to cheat her dad out of money. She is a gambling addict and an alcoholic and we know that she is draining the many different bank accounts and can prove it.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 24, 2019

Probate proceedings are all open to the public. You can look at the file. You can attend hearings. Nobody has the right to exclude you.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Washington on
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... Read more »

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden answered on Aug 29, 2019

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...
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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: POA QUESTION. IS IT LEGAL. SEE INFO

My uncle with POA over my father moved my dad to nursing home and removed over 100k worth of equipment from my dads home and sold it. I am the sole beneficiary of the estate. We now have buy new equipment to take care of the property. POA told us that it was for his medical care. Money was never... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 23, 2019

Fro your side of the story it does appear that your uncle misappropriated funds. The law does provide legal remedies for those aggrieved by such behavior. You will need to fire an attorney and most likely pay a hefty retainer. If your uncle is collectible and sufficient dollars gone missing are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: Can. POA take cars, tractors etc from my fathers home and keep for himself. I’m the sole beneficiary of the estate. 100k
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 23, 2019

No. An agent acting under a power of attorney can and must only take actions that are in the best interests of the principal. Self-dealing is strictly forbidden unless the POA specifically permits it. If you are encountering a rogue attorney in fact, you might need to hire an attorney to have a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: Does POA have power to limit the time I could spend with my father to 30 minutes a day

This was not done for medical reasons.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 23, 2019

No. A financial power of attorney does not confer that kind of authority on the attorney in fact, but there is not way to say with 100% certainty without reviewing the POA.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Probate, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Washington on
Q: My Fathers wife promised me and my Father, that she'd give his kids half of the money from the sale of the house.

I cared for my Father for the past 14yrs until he passed. Spent 85% of my time with a my father making sure he took his meds and insulin and also took him to almost all his doctor appointments and surgeries. We pretty much did everything together. I have witnesses to her making these statements... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 10, 2019

You might have grounds for suing your step mother for breach of contract. It sounds like there was an agreement and it was supported by consideration. The fact that there are witnesses to her promise is very helpful. Seek out a contract litigation attorney in your area.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Father passed wks after remarrying in Washington with a Will. Does new widow get 50% of everything when nothing was her?

My father died just weeks after remarrying. The Will does not list his new wife. She brought nothing to the home. With a will, and with Washington being a community property state, does she automatically get 50% of everything? I know she should get something, but that doesn’t seem right for her... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 10, 2019

Under the laws that apply when there is no will the spouse would inherit 100% of the community property, which is property acquired during the marriage. There was hardly time for that so I am guessing there is virtually none. When there are children the spouse inherits half of the separate property... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: Needing a will.

I am trying to help a friend who is elderly. She wants to get her affairs in order and needs a will. Is this available as a free service?

John Kenney
John Kenney answered on Jun 24, 2019

Usually attorneys charge to prepare and execute a will and the other necessary documents such as a durable power of attorney, health care directive or living will and a health care power of attorney. Some attorneys may offer discounts or payment plans to assist a person who has lower income or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: Dad passed living out of state. Assets in OH, I'm the only child & live out of state, what do I do? Will not found.

Dad was living 7-8 yrs in a care home outside of OH. House in OH, he never sold it. "Original will" was not found only a copy which I am not named. I am informed by family, to get a probate lawyer. I live across the country. What do I do?

Greg Freeze
Greg Freeze answered on Mar 10, 2019

The probate is best started in the county in Ohio where your father resided. The Ohio courts will have "jurisdiction" over the house.

If the original will cannot be found, courts presume that the will was destroyed intentionally by the testator. You can proceed with an probate using...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: If a holographic will was created and notarized in Alaska. The person dies in Colorado. Where is probate to be filed?

The executer lives in Washington state. Can the will be filled as a simple probate in Washington state?

Greg Freeze
Greg Freeze answered on Mar 1, 2019

Your question is registered on Justia in Washington, so you're likely to get Washington lawyers answering it. To start with, we have to back up to Alaska and find out if a holographic will is valid.

I see Alaska Stat. § 13.12.502 as allowing holographic wills, a will can be "...valid as...
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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: What rules decide the paying of an estate debt when that debt is connected to an asset that will continue past probate?

The sole owner of a Washington State C-Corp dies. The will is entered into probate and names 1 of 3 equal beneficiaries the Personal Representative with non-intervention powers.

The assets of the estate consist mainly of proceeds from the sale of the house and the business which has been... Read more »

Greg Freeze
Greg Freeze answered on Mar 1, 2019

Your situation is a bit complex for a website answer. You should speak with a local probate attorney to protect your interests as a beneficiary.

Shutting down a branch, may or may not be a good business decision. The PR needs to be careful to distinguish his or her roles. As a PR, there...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: My mom passed away without a will. Her and my dad were married for 49 years. They lived in a house on land that she

inherited while they were married. He is not on the deed. There are 7 children. 4 from her previous marriage and 3 from her current marriage. My sister says the 4 from her previous marriage are entitled to 1/2 of the estate, but the 3 from her current marriage are not entitled to anything. What is... Read more »

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden answered on Nov 1, 2018

When somebody passes away without a will, their heirs are determined by what are called the laws of intestacy. Washington's can be found at RCW 11.04.015 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=11.04.015).

There will be a question about whether the home is separate or community...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: Revocable Trust and can I ask for all account of monies.

Mother had no debt. House was sold when she went into Memory Care Facility. She had CD's, and savings account. It took sister 4 months to send letter from attorney regarding the trust. Monies to be divided equally among 3 siblings. It's been 10 months since death and no word on distributing... Read more »

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden answered on May 1, 2018

If you got a letter from an attorney representing the trust or your sister as trustee, I would try reaching out to that lawyer to check on the status or hiring a lawyer to do it for you. There are any number of reasons it could be taking this long.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: My mother in-law wasnt informed about her father's death. Found out through Google. She was his only child. What to do?

He remarried when she was 3. No other children. The wife prevented contact and cut off contact with his daughter when he became ill with Alzheimer.

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden answered on Mar 7, 2018

I would suggest that the first thing she do is try to figure out if her father's estate was probated and whether he had a will.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: If there are two beneficiary's on a will, and one is also the executor, can said executor keep all the money?

My mother & I are two beneficiaries on my Grandparents Will, they passed, and the estate is ready to be closed, but she is saying since we were not allocated a set amount of money she can invest it all and keep it for herself. is this legal? can she make it so I get nothing since they didn't leave... Read more »

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden answered on Mar 6, 2018

The executor has to follow the will. So it would depend on what the will said. It would be very strange for the will to not specify the share of the estate that each of you were to receive.

For example, wills commonly say something to the effect of: "to my children, but if my children do...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: The estate of my mother (me-only child) is being sued regarding her real estate , there is no estate, what do I do?

My mother passed June 1, 2015, I got served with court papers February 18, 2018 regarding real estate property which she did own but it got foreclosed-- the sherriff's office got involved.(date escapes me right now) Then she rented an apartment for two years but in an out of the hospital and... Read more »

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden answered on Mar 6, 2018

There is not enough information provided to really answer this question, I would recommend speaking to a probate attorney. They are going to need to know at least whether there was a probate, who the personal representative was, whether this creditor was known or notified of probate, whether there... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: My roommate passed away, left an 8 year old daughter and no will. Does the guardian have right to assets?

My roommate has passed away and has left behind her 8 year old daughter, whom her father has full custody of. My roommates mother is trying to capitalize on her assets and become the personal representative of her estate. Can she do this? We know that she will not give remaining assets to my... Read more »

Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden answered on Mar 6, 2018

It isn't clear from the question whether the father was still married to your roommate. If he was, he would be first preference for Personal Representative if he wanted to be, but, if not, the mother is likely the first preference. RCW 11.28.120... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: If a person named in a will legally changes their name are they still eligible to be able to collect?

My adopted brother is named in my parents will. It was written when he and I were babies. My dad has passed and my mom is close behind. My "brother" has renounced the family and has legally changed his name to his birth mother's name. There isn't really anything to get, no money, real estate, etc.... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 18, 2018

First of all you don't 'inherit' debt. If there is more debt than asset I generally recommend against bothering with probate, and let the creditors scrabble for the scraps.

Secondly, the fact that someone has legally changed their name doesn't impact the bequest in a will. If I name a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: I downloaded a will template from eForms, Washington Last Will and Testament Template. Can I change some of the words?

I have made the wording fit my particular situation in the beneficiary section of the will. Does this action change the validity of the will?

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 8, 2018

Sure you can change it.

The problem is that it might not do what you WANT it to do. The only way to know for sure is to consult with a LOCAL ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY and SHOW him/her the language. That will cost as much as having the lawyer just prepare the document, but it really is the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: Is there any reason to "leave probate open as long as possible" ? Does it benefit the heirs or the attorney?
Michael D. Whipple
Michael D. Whipple answered on Jan 2, 2018

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...
Read more »

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