Probate is the process during which a Will is validated; the assets of the deceased are inventoried; and all debts, creditors’ claims and taxes are paid. Once it is determined who is entitled by the probate proceedings, the remaining assets are distributed to the named beneficiaries and heirs.
It is important that a probate attorney know and understand the probate process. The probate process can take anywhere from four months to a number of years to complete.
A Will is probated in the county in which the testator (person who wrote the will) died. Assets that do not pass directly to a surviving spouse or other heir through a community property agreement, right of survivorship, payable on death bank account, trusts with named beneficiaries, life insurance, retirement accounts, such as 401(k), or annuities are subject to formal probate proceedings.
If the decedent dies without a will (intestate), the court will determine the hierarchy of heirs. Generally the hierarchy is as follows:
• Parents (if no children)
• Aunts and Uncles
Because of the legal complications that may arise in the probate process, many people put together their estate plans so that as many assets as possible pass directly to their intended heirs, bypassing the probate courts. To assure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes, it is important that you contact the lawyers at CARRINGTON LAW OFFICES, P.C. to beginning the estate planning process.
If, on the other hand, your love one died testate (leaving a will)or intestate (leaving no will) and you would like assistance navigating the Washington Courts Probate system, contact the attorneys at CARRINGTON LAW OFFICES, P.C. for a free consultation.CARRINGTON LAW OFFICES, P.C. Large Firm Experience, Small Firm Attention.