An estate must be dealt with following the death of a loved one. While we may want to simply grieve the death, it is necessary (by law) to attend to your loved one’s things. This is done through the probate process, and the probate process can be quite confusing. These are some frequently asked questions that should help you get started with the probate process in Washington.

Simply, What Is The Probate Process?

Each will and testament appoints a personal representative (PR) that is responsible for following the decedent’s wishes stated in the document. The PR then notifies all heirs, beneficiaries, and other parties of the death and appointment to read the will. Following this, some common steps of a probate include managing or selling property, paying debts, settling any taxes due, distributing the left-over assets, and finally closing the estate.

Probate Is A New Word… What Does It Mean?

Probate is derived from the Latin word “probare” which means “to prove.

What Is A Probate Proving?

The probate proves the will and testament is the most recent copy provided by the decedent and is signed by the decedent or the decedent’s representative if the decedent was incapable of creating a will at the time. Traditionally, the maker of the will – testator (male) or testatrix (female) – is a person of a healthy mind incapable of making insane decisions. The probate proves that the will and testament was written lawfully and truthfully without mistakes.

Whom Proves The Will?

The Superior Court of county in which – at the time of death – the decedent resided.

Stay tuned for Part Two of FAQs About The Probate Process In Washington.