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What are “Letters” and how does one get them?

A letter of probate is a legal document that gives the executor the right to control the assets of a deceased persons estate.


Letters are the document issued by the Court evidencing its appointment of the Personal Representative:

  • If Decedent died testate, the Letters are known as Letters Testamentary.
  • If Decedent died intestate (technically, without a named Personal Representative able and willing to serve), the Letters are known as Letters of Administration.


Letters are obtained by filing a Petition with the Court and having the Court open a probate for the Decedent, which would include:

  • Admitting any valid Will of Decedent and
  • Appointing a Personal Representative for Decedent’s estate.



  • Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess Can Help
  • Hiring an experienced probate attorney at the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess to guide you in administrating the estate or probate process is vital. With assistance from an experienced Seattle probate attorney, you can have confidence in the knowledge that your loved one’s estate is being managed properly and provide you with security from personal liability.