What is the Washington state probate process?

What is Probate?

Probate is a court-supervised legal process that may be required after someone dies. Probate gives someone, usually the surviving spouse or other close family member, authority to gather the deceased person’s assets, pay debts and taxes, and eventually transfer assets to the people who inherit them.

Probate Process in Washington State

Probate in Washington typically takes six months to a year, depending on some choices the executor makes.  It can take much longer if there is a court fight over the will or unusual assets or debts that complicate matters. Unless there is a dispute, it’s mainly a matter of filing paperwork.

What Happens During the Washington State Probate Process

The following tasks are accomplished through the probate process:

1.      File any Will and Petition the Court for Appointment of Personal Representative (the “PR”).

2.      Send Notice of Appointment of PR to Beneficiaries, Heirs, and Other Interested Parties.

3.      Collect & Manage (& possibly Sell) Property.

4.      Pay Debts.

5.      Determine & Settle Any Taxes Due.

6.      Distribute Remaining Assets.

7.      Close the Estate.



1.      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/probate-faq-29135.html

2.      http://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/the_probate_process.html

3.      http://statelaws.findlaw.com/washington-law/washington-probate-laws.html

4.      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/washington-probate-an-overview.html

5.      http://estate.findlaw.com/probate/the-probate-basics.html

Attorney Robert Dickson

Attorney Robert DicksonThe core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners. His is a practical approach to law, which strives to balance the need for a successful legal outcome with a client’s financial goals (or constraints). Outside of his private practice, Rob serves as an adjunct professor at the Seattle University School of Law where he teaches real estate litigation. [ Attorney Bio ]