Misconceptions about probate
In Washington State, probate is an orderly legal process for settling your estate after your death. If you have a valid will, it is allowed for probate by the court and a personal representative to settle the estate and distribute the assets as indicated. If you don’t have a will, the court will apply the laws of intestate succession, which will determine the division of your property. There are many misconceptions about probate, so if you’re looking to file for probate, it’s important to understand the facts from the fiction. Below, we discuss the most common misconceptions we hear about probate.
“I can avoid probate because I have a living trust.”
Living trusts have many advantages, however, they may be subject to the personal property affidavit procedure. If the property remains in your name after death, as long as you have a transfer will that provides for all of the assets that are not already in your living trust, your trustee should be able to obtain the assets. It can then be transferred into the trust and that is how you can avoid probate. If this is not the case, an approval procedure will probably be necessary. So if you have a living trust, you will need to make sure that you use it for all of your assets and that you don’t inadvertently take title to it in your own name and forget to rename it to your living trust.
“I can avoid probate because I have a will. “
There are a number of things to consider as it depends on the nature and character of your property, your interest in it, the identity of the person (s) your property is intended for and much more. . Some other factors include your marital status and how your property is already titled. If it is a joint tenancy, it will pass outside the probate to the surviving joint tenants. If it is registered in a trust and your interest in it is only as a beneficiary, then it will pass out of probate under the trust. If the property is in your name and your property separate, it may require a probate process. These are a few factors to consider, but whether or not you have a will, probate may still be required.
Discussing your particular situation with an experienced lawyer will help you understand the process. At DAL Law Firm, attorney Darcel Lobo has helped many clients understand and follow probate procedures. If there are any questions you are unclear about, please feel free to give us a call or text us today. Contact us at (206) 408-8158 or email us at [email protected]. We look forward to helping you today.
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