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Washington Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: Joint held accounts in the probate process when they are both deceased.

Both of my parents had Wills listing each other the primary beneficiary and me as the second. When my mother passed away in 2018, we did not take any action. Joint accounts and property were not modified or updated. Now my dad passed away in 2020 and I have to file for Probate.

I assume the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 7, 2020

It is not possible to answer your question without a thorough understanding of everything that was in your father's name (alone or with others) when he died. Even if everything that could be held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship (JTWROS) was held in JTWROS, there are steps that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: Per will, my brother share went to a trust. I'm to oversee. 401k listed him as 1/2 beneficiary. Does this go to trust to

My dad passed away. I'm executor of the estate. My dad has us splitting everything (property & posessions) in roughly equal shares. However, my brother share is to go into a trust due to concerns of drug/alcohol issues. My dad appointed me to oversee trust for my brother as well. My... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 1, 2020

Yes, if what you say is true, that the death beneficiaries of the IRA are you and your brother and not you and your brother’s trust, then he will receive his share outright and free of trust. But neither of you have to accept your shares all in one lump sum. You can roll your shares over to your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: My father wants to leave me his house, do we do a living trust? How do we avoid probate?

The house is not paid off yet, he wants to put me on the deed and we were told to do a living trust. Will this stop me from having to go into probate?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 20, 2020

Yes, a living trust would avoid probate and might be an excellent choice for your dad's situation. However, there are other techniques that might be better if, for example, you want to protect the home from being sold after death to reimburse Medicaid for long term care expenses paid on your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: My recently deceased father wrote me out of his will, but I believe he had dementia. Is there anything I can do??

He lived with me from mid 2008 until Nov. 2018. Left evthing to my half sister..helppp

Vincent J. Bernabei
Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Apr 15, 2020

The legal standard for proving a person was incapable of making a will is a difficult one that must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. If you succeed in establishing that your father lacked sufficient capacity to make a will, then his prior will, if he had one, will control the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: Hi, I know two people (brother and sister) both in their 50s who live in a house that was owned by their father.

Their dad passed away a few months ago, and no surviving spouse. No will. Son was his caregiver (He was not on LTC Medicaid)

They are both very low income and cannot afford a lawyer. The home is worth $350,000. The lawyer that was appointed to I guess handle probate/intestacy law, she... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 14, 2020

I cannot comment on these particular circumstances, but here is some general information. If an individual dies without a will and no surviving spouse, then next in line to inherit would be the children in equal shares. Also, when the borrower under a reverse mortgage dies, the loan becomes due... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: my son’s father and stepmother both died at same time . will states stepmother sister is sole beneficiary .

Will was wrote 10 years ago when my son was underage . His father and stepmother had started divorce proceedings . Can will be challenged ?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 30, 2020

Yes, in most states a child born after a will was made can challenge the will and claim the share of the estate he would have received had his parent died without a will. Also there are often family allowances in addition to that. You should contact a probate attorney near where the child's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Washington on
Q: How can my mother create a new will to take the place of my father's will after he died ?

And then tell my little sister to burn my dad's will! And I don't know if the estate is in probate or not because my mother would not let me see my father's will

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 27, 2019

I think you know in your heart that what your mother and sister did, if true, is illegal. You can hire a probate attorney to help you rectify the situation but be prepared for the problem of proof. You will need evidence to prove your claims.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: I am in WA state. But, CA state has jurisdiction &states involved and essentially this cash is funneled internationally

Ca case involving a very old, wealthy established family. I have been disincluded, knowing, by one of the co-executor heirs. They included my sister as sole heir. It was done before father passed and without legal authority with fraudulent, forged documents which I do posses. I am well prepared... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 15, 2019

Do you have a question?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: Executer for my father's will passed how do I become executer?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 13, 2019

You should hire a probate attorney to help you petition the probate court to appoint you as executor.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: When a Will has the residuary estate to my Dad. Then to his children . He dies shortly after the distributon. Unclaimed

Property comes in to the estate. Who gets it. My Fads stepson got all of the estate we got zero. We didn't even get notice. Stepson raised to be a lawyer too, go figure. What to do?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 21, 2019

It sounds like your dad’s will left everything to his stepson. If you do not think that is the case or if you have other concerns you should make an appointment with a local probate attorney.

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... 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...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

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...
Read more »

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