Probate Law

Douglas N Owens – your expert in probate law.

What is probate?

When a person dies, his or her estate needs to be transferred to his or her heirs. If your loved one has sought counsel for estate planning and has signed a Last Will and Testament, he or she has already decided to whom what property is to be transferred. A probate may, or may not, need to be filed.

How does probate work?

Probates usually involve appointing a person to act as the Personal Reprentative of the  Probate Estate; notifying any known relatives and/or heirs; determining whether the Estate is solvent (assets exceed debts) or insolvent (debts exceed assets); taking an inventory of all assets and debts of the Estate, and distributing the net assets to the beneficiaries of the Estate.

What if my loved one dies without a will?

Persons without a Will in effect at the time of their death and owning property in Washington may need to have a Washington state probate opened so that the Court may be involved in making sure that an appropriate person is handling the Estate, and that all financial issues are resolved.

What if I have a community property agreement?

If a Community Property Agreement has been signed, it is usually a simple process to file the document and to transfer all assets to the surviving spouse.

If the assets of the Estate are minimal, it is possible that a small estate transfer can occur, instead of a formal probate process.

Please let me guide you through this difficult time of your life, and provide the advice you need.

Call me today at 360-299-3990 to schedule a FREE one-half hour consultation.