Streamlining the Probate Process for Individuals and Families Throughout the greater Spokane area
When someone passes away in Washington state, their estate typically enters a period known as probate. During the probate process, the value of the assets is determined, any outstanding debts are paid, and the remaining pieces of the estate are distributed among the beneficiaries. However, not all estates must go through the formal probate process.
For more modest estates, a beneficiary can file a small estate affidavit in order to obtain specific items of property, such as bank accounts, jewelry, furniture, stocks, and more. At Legacy Law Group, we can help you learn more about small estate affidavits and guide you successfully through the process.
Some Basic Requirements
Typically, larger estates are subject to probate, as they tend to involve more complex components. In Washington state, if the value of the estate’s assets totals $100,000 or less, then a small estate affidavit could be used. It’s important to note that the $100,000 amount refers to the estate’s remaining value after deducting any community property interests, liens, or other encumbrances. If the remaining amount is at or below this threshold, then you may pursue a small estate affidavit.
Understanding the Process
This process can be handled outside of the courtroom, and it offers a more streamlined process for ensuring that the successors receive the property intended for them. The first step is to make sure that you are, in fact, entitled to the property as a successor. Perhaps you were named in the will, or—if there was no will—you could prove your relationship to the deceased individual. You’ll also need to make sure that the individual who passed away resided in Washington state at the time of their death. Once these requirements have been met, you may notify other successors of your intent to claim certain items from the estate. You’ll also complete a small estate affidavit, have it notarized, and send it to the agency or bank that is currently in possession of the property you are seeking. If there are no objections and you’ve observed the specified waiting period, the property will make its way to you.
Here to Help
While the small estate affidavit process may be less complicated than the traditional probate process, questions and issues can arise at any time. If someone you loved has recently passed away, the experienced probate attorneys at Legacy Law Group are here to address your concerns and guide you through the process. We’ll assess your situation and determine the best path forward for helping you secure the treasured items to which you are entitled. Reach out today to get started.