Category: Wills

  • When Should You Change Your Will?

    • September, 28, 2021
    • Wills

    If there are significant events in your life or changes in your relationships, it’s time to ask the question: When should you change your will? Hopefully, we get older and wiser. Your will should reflect that. Our relationships and priorities change over time. A person or organization you thought would be worth supporting in your will five years ago may no longer be part of your life. Your will is what’s stated in a document -- not what you think it should be or want it to be in your head. Updating your will guards against unintended consequences if your life unexpectedly comes to an end. Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess helps clients with estate planning, including creating and updating wills. A will is a legal document that allows you t

  • Why does the will need to be proven?

    Probate laws are designed to protect the rights of heirs and creditors and to assure the orderly collection, preservation, and transfer of property.  In order to ensure that the Decedent's bills are paid and Decedent's property is accounted for, transferred to, and retitled in the names of Decedent's Beneficiaries, it is important to prove your will.  The court will determine whether your will is valid or determine who is to receive the property if there is no will.   What is Being Proved To the Court The Personal Representative (called the "Executor" (male) or "Executrix" (female)) that Decedent nominated in the Will can be appointed by the Court and authorized to carry out Decedent's desires, as expressed in the provisions of his/her Will.

  • Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Probate in Washington State

    What is Probate? Probate is the process through which the estate of a decedent that has passed away with or without a will is administered. Common issues that are addressed in the probate process include transferring assets to beneficiaries, paying the debts of the estate, establishing the validity of a will,1 and paying any taxes that may be due. What are the problems associated with probate? The probate process can cost an estate a significant amount of money due to legal and administrative costs. In addition, when an estate goes through probate, it can delay the transfer of assets for months or even years. Finally, the probate process is a matter of public record, so going through the probate process opens up an estate’s affairs to financial scr

  • What happens if someone dies without a will?

    Intestate means that one has died without creating a will. When this happens, the intestacy laws of the state where you reside will determine how your property is distributed upon your death. This includes any bank accounts, securities, real estate, and other assets you own at the time of death. Real estate owned in a different state than where you resided will be handled under the intestacy laws of the state where the property is located. What happens to my property? The laws of intestate succession vary greatly depending on whether you were single or married, or had children. In most cases, your property is distributed in split shares to your “heirs”, which could include your surviving spouse, siblings, aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, and