Greg Freeze's answer Wow. You question remained unanswered for a couple of months. This is now answered on your more recent post. The short answer remains, something like, if you want to leave your small town to go somewhere else, that will work. But, it will also work just fine with a local attorney. The choice is yours.
Disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor...
Greg Freeze's answer Let's start with the "filing" part of your question. Your will gets filed with the court doing the probate. Washington is a little funny, as compared to say Oregon. In Oregon, you have to have some kind of connection with the county, such as living there, dying there, owning property there, etc.
In Washington, you can file in any county you want! Very strange. But, perhaps this is helpful for whoever is going to be taking on the personal representative ("PR") role. In a sense, the...
Brent Bowden's answer There is no requirement that your husband be aware of your will. But there are risks to a secret or surprise will. In the event you died and your husband survived you, he would be likely to open a probate assuming your old will or as if you didn't have one. If nobody brings the secret will to court, it would be like you never had it. Wills that are surprises are also potentially more likely to result in challenges to their validity. And, lastly, Washington is a community property state, so that...
Brent Bowden's answer 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 property or some mix of both. Generally, an inheritance is separate property. But community funds were possibly used to pay the mortgage, taxes, upkeep, etc, which can complicate things.
Self-proving wills are easier to probate, but slightly more complicated to execute, as they require specific language and a notary. RCW 11.20.020(2). http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=11.20.020
Brent Bowden's answer Every state has a set of laws that dictate how property is distributed if there is no will. Washington's can be found at RCW 11.04.015 ( http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=11.04.015 ). The exact distribution would depend on who the parents of the surviving grandchildren were (i.e, are they the children of the surviving child, a deceased child, or two different deceased children). Washington's laws of intestacy dictate a distribution by representation, so each of those possibilities has...
Brent Bowden's answer You can draft a will without a lawyer, but it is important to follow the formalities required by Washington Law (I am assuming you live in WA). Merely having it notarized is not sufficient to create a will in Washington State.
RCW 11.12.020 contains the requirements for witnesses.
Brent Bowden's answer 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.
Brent Bowden's answer Under Washington intestacy laws (which govern in the absence of a will), your surviving spouse inherits all of your community property and half of your separate property if you have surviving children.
Your situation is somewhat complicated. The first question is who inherited her previous husband's share of the house. If it was community property, it would have gone entirely to your mother. If not, it would have been split between your mother and his children or parents, if he had any...
Brent Bowden's answer 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 not survive me to my grandchildren." In that case your mom would be the only beneficiary, even though you were both technically named in the will.
Brent Bowden's answer 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 was a published notice to creditors, and the nature of the court papers you were served with.
Brent Bowden's answer 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 (http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=11.28.120).
That being said, the personal representative has to distribute the assets according to the laws of intestacy. If there was no spouse, everything goes to the child(ren). RCW 11.04.015...
Kenneth V Zichi's answer 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 daughter and she gets married she still is my beneficiary so long as she is CLEARLY identified in the document. "My Son x" works even if the son changes his name. If son x were ADOPTED by someone else,...
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 only way to know if the changes you want to make are significant and may or may not cause a problem.
Don't be penny wise and pound foolish about this. The cost of a professionally drafted will...
Michael D. Whipple's answer Washington law allows people to sign a "small estate affidavit" to settle estates that the value of the assets are below $100,000.00 AND there are no creditors (this is important), and, as you indicated, there are no additional heirs to be consulted. However, since there was a will, in this case, state probate law requires the will to be filed within 30 days and she can open probate, at the same time.
Michael D. Whipple's answer You would petition the court for appointment as personal representative(executor) seeking 'Letters of Administration.'
You would submit the petition with an order to that effect. If the will stipulates 'without bond' and with 'non-intervention powers', your petition and order would reflect that. If it does not, you would need to be prepared to post bond.
If the will has not been filed with the court clerk, do so right away.
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.