What Is Probate Under Washington State Law?
Probate is a legal proceeding that deals with your personal and financial affairs after your death.
What Factors Would Set The Stage For Probate To Occur?
If you pass away without having done any estate planning and you own real property, then your assets will have to go through the probate process. The creation of wills and trusts, as well as the family dynamics prior to your death will be factored in to what happens with your property once you die. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about when probate is needed and what it entails.
What Are Some Misconceptions That You Have To Dispel In A Client Consultation?
Many people are scared by the idea of the court process and the costs associated with probate. However, it does not necessarily have to be an expensive process and can be done fairly quickly. If your estate is worth less than $100,000 and you don’t have real estate or debt, then probate will not be necessary. A small estate affidavit will suffice. This is something that an attorney should advise you on.
Does All Property Have To Go Through Probate?
Property includes money, real estate, furniture, jewelry, etc. Wills can play an important role in the determination of whether or not a particular asset will have to go through probate. For example, if you were to make a handwritten list that stated that you wanted your wedding ring to go to your daughter, then that ring would not go through the probate process. There are also ways to set up non-probate assets that have beneficiaries, such as life insurance and joint bank accounts with rights of survivorship. Transfer on death deeds and a trust are options.
What Are My Options For Avoiding Probate?
While many people are concerned with avoiding probate, it’s not always the best thing to avoid. Depending on the circumstances, probate might be the best way to deal with your property after your death. When working with clients, I review their financial and family situations and consider how they want their property distributed upon their death. This avoids conflicts or future claims by prior estate planning. Based upon that information, we will create a plan that will go into effect once they die.
Who Are The Main Players In The Probate Process?
The first person who is involved in the probate process is the decedent or the person who dies. Spouses, children, siblings, or anyone else who was designated to receive assets would be involved in the process as well. Creditors play a role as well.
For more information on Probate In The State Of Washington, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (360) 323-2885 today.
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