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Washington Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: Mother-in-law died a year ago- left me $50,000 I'm having a hard time receiving and I need to know what I need

The executor which is her brother Everett lawyer says the house needs to sell before I receive my money I don't think this is correct it doesn't state that in the will -will currently in Probate

Keith Armstrong
PREMIUM
Keith Armstrong
answered on Sep 22, 2022

Hello estate heir. The probate attorney and executor may be correct. If the estate does not have liquid cash, may have to sell hard assets to fund the inheritance. But more important is the priority of distributions. First, creditors and claims, expenses, legal, accounting fees and bills.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: Does my dad's wife have the right to his house

My dad has will that states upon his death his wife is allowed reside in the house for one year. About a month ago she left him. She moved out and got her own apartment. My dad was then put in a home. She was his main caregiver. She is now quoting the will saying she has the right to the house for... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jul 26, 2022

The answer does depend entirely on the wording of the will and also on whether the will is accepted for probate. If the will is accepted for probate and says what she says it does then, yes, she has the right to occupy the house for a year. Some attorneys draft rights of occupancy in such a way... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: I had a will, power of attorney, health directive, property directive - all of it - drawn up in 2008.

I now hear legislation requires all this be redone at additional fee of course. Is this accurate?

Nicole Betts
Nicole Betts
answered on May 25, 2022

Hi There,

I am always slightly concerned in dealing with dated documents. Particularly the Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive. The Uniform Power of Attorney Act came into effect in 2017 - as such, I often recommend that these documents be updated. However, of course, an attorney...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: My sister is dying very quickly and she wants to give her house to her son. She has no will. Is there something we can

have her sign real quick before she dies?

Keith Armstrong
PREMIUM
Keith Armstrong
answered on May 23, 2022

Yes, she can gift the house to her son with a Quit Claim Deed. She can also do a Transfer on Death Deed. Lastly, she can create a living trust with her son as beneficiary. All of these will avoid probate, but the Transfer on Death Deed gives you the most bang for the buck. I would seek an... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: In disputes between siblings why does it seem like the law sides with the kids that want to sell ? Leaving the other if

They don't Have the money to by them out on hand then they are forced to sell to. in most cases the one sibling is trying to keep the property above all.

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on May 5, 2022

It seems that way because the law does in fact favor the siblings who want to sell. The reason for that is it is untenable in the long run to force the siblings who want to sell to have to wait for their inheritance while the one who wants to occupy continues to live in the property, usually... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: I am the creditor to a court ordered instalment plan where the debtor has died. Most likely no will

His partner at time of debts til present, knew he was borrowing money from me and also benefited from it. She also helped in lying about his living arrangements and conditions of bail for his 5criminal charges dealing with a minor. How do I collect this debt?

Keith Armstrong
PREMIUM
Keith Armstrong
answered on May 4, 2022

Creditor, you may want to make a claim against the estate of the debtor and send written notice to the surviving partner. If the debt was in the company capacity, then the company should be responsible for paying. If the debt was made in his personal capacity, then his estate should pay for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: Dad passed away with no will, Do I have to go through probate?

The only heirs are me and my sister, she's in another state and cannot come down to washington. my dads house is paid off and I want to keep the house. my sister has agreed to sign a waiver to give me the house. Do I have to still go through probate? If I do, do I have to go through personal... Read more »

Keith Armstrong
PREMIUM
Keith Armstrong
answered on Mar 16, 2022

Hi, Washington resident. Since this estate has real estate, you will have to go through probate. You make arrangements to keep the house, but there needs to be some funds to pay for the probate costs and possible tax return. Something has to be sold from the estate to proceed with paying for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Father died without a will, need to close his bank account. need all the help i can get.

The bank says I need the death certificate (which I have) and a letter testamentary (which I do not have). There are only two heirs to consider, myself and my brother, and we are already in agreement on disposition. My father died in Texas (his state of residence) and I live in Washington state. I... Read more »

Paul Premack
Paul Premack
answered on Mar 7, 2022

Since your father resided in Texas and died in Texas, any action on his estate needs to happen under Texas law. I am licensed in both Texas and Washington. You can ask the bank if your father specified a "Pay on Death" beneficiary for the bank account. If so, they should release the funds... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: How do I transfer inherited property.

I am the executor and sole beneficiary to my mother's estate. How do I transfer the deed to her house to my daughter?

Renee Louise Roman
PREMIUM
Renee Louise Roman
answered on Feb 26, 2022

Depending on the circumstances, probate may have to be initiated in order to properly transfer the property. A real estate lawyer can prepare a deed and tax affidavit which can then be executed and recorded. You may wish to contact an attorney who practices both real estate and probate to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Mom hasn't received her half from the estate sale. Probate started 04/2021.house sold 09/2021. What does she need to do?
Renee Louise Roman
PREMIUM
Renee Louise Roman
answered on Feb 26, 2022

She should contact the estate executor. If she doesn’t receive satisfactory answers, she may need to enlist the services of a probate attorney. An experienced probate attorney can represent her interests, and obtain valuable information about the estate. He or she can determine exactly what your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Im an out of state remainderman to a life estate in WA. What attorney will I need?

I don't know the life tenant well, but they are not happy the property passes to me.

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Feb 22, 2022

A real estate attorney can review the existing vesting deed and advise you.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: What are the changes that has to happen for me to create a completely new trust vs restatement of my existing trust? thx

I have a trust that is written some time ago by an attorney who is no longer alive.

Much have happened since, and the question is, at what point is a new trust for someone with an existing trust ("Restatement of Trust”?) is created rather than just a trust by the same name but with... Read more »

Zachary C Ashby
Zachary C Ashby
answered on Feb 3, 2022

This really depends on the nature of the trust and what property is in it. In general, if the trust has property in it restating the trust is best so that you update details in it.

And if the trust is a living trust and the grantor (if you made the trust and you are the trustee), it is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Hi there, my dad recently passed away and he has no estate but has debt. If i inherit his car, can they come after it?

No other assets, but a bunch of personal loan debt. The car was owned free and clear and all the creditors have been notified of his death. I plan on doing an affidavit or inheritance soon, but I dont wNt to get sued by the creditors for the vehicle. Can they come after it to force me to liquidate... Read more »

Keith Armstrong
PREMIUM
Keith Armstrong
answered on Jan 9, 2022

Hi, Spokane heir. If your father did not have a Will, you may inherit the car, but under Washington law, all of the debts of your father's estate and all of the assets (owned and controlled by him) are available to pay creditors. All of the creditors must have a chance to get paid from the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Can I dispute life insurance claim by deceased fiance's estranged family. We lived together for 2 years when she passed.

My fiancé passed suddenly in October. She was estranged from her family and there was a history of abuse by mom. They had not seen in other in over 2 years. There was, apparently, a life insurance policy through her employer. Now, her mom is claiming it since she is next of kin and no named... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Dec 2, 2021

You are in a very weak position, unfortunately. If the policy did not name a death beneficiary, then most likely it is payable to your fiance's estate. If he had a will naming you, great. You can open a probate and claim the life insurance proceeds.

However, if he did not have a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: A will was drawn up by an attorney who allowed a felon to be an executor Is he liable ?
Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
Theodore David Vicknair Sr.
answered on Aug 3, 2021

Probably not. An attorney that drafts a legal document for a client needs to put down what the clients wishes are in the document, but does not have a legal obligation to make sure the people listed by the client are appropriate choices.

On another note, many states have a statute that...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: After 2 months of marriage my husband passed away he owned a house and cars he has three step children and there is no w
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm
answered on Jun 9, 2021

So sorry to hear about this tragic event. When a person dies without a will then the laws of intestate succession apply. If he was domiciled in Washington at his death then the laws of that state will control. Normally, the wife gets a certain percentage of the estate and the children get the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Washington on
Q: What can I do to obtain W2-G's for my deceased mother so I can file her taxes?

The Casino told me I need to have a Power of Attorney but I was told by someone else that Power of Attorney's are only for the living. Will an Affidavit of a Small Estate work? If so, does it need to be filed with the court or just signed in front of a Notary? She, my mother, passed suddenly... Read more »

Jadrian Michael Coppieters
Jadrian Michael Coppieters
answered on Jun 3, 2021

If you opened probate and had "Letters Testamentary" the casino would likely honor that, but that is a hassle if there's no need to open probate. You may be able to obtain a "Wage and Income Transcript" from the IRS, which shows reported W2s, but it will take some time for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: Do I have legal ground to request land in Winston County Mississippi to be passed on to me as a rightful heir?

Thousands of acres of land in Winston County Mississippi have been divided up between several of my uncles, yet they purposefully excluded my father from his Inheritance. My uncle illegally owns several acres of my fathers land in Winston Mississippi. My father is going to die soon and that land... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Nov 24, 2020

You will have to hire a competent Mississippi attorney who handles real estate litigation. Thorough title searches will have to be performed and heirship determined. Affidavits of Heirship may need to be recorded. If adverse possession under color of title does not deprive you of title,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington on
Q: Can an executor establish a trust that isn’t specified in the will
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jun 15, 2020

It depends on the terms of the will. Some allow this and some don’t. If the will was prepared by an attorney, it might.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Washington on
Q: I am writing my own will using the language & style of my old will drafted by an attorney.

Once it is witnessed and notarized will it be a legally binding document. I live in Washington state.

Deanny Lungu
Deanny Lungu
answered on Apr 19, 2020

You would have to check your state statutes requirements for a valid will. I am not licensed in your state, hopefully, a WA-based attorney can provide some insight. Good luck.

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