Probate in Washington is a lot easier than in other states, mainly because of what are called "nonintervention powers." Nonintervention powers allow a Personal Representative to administer and close an estate without further interaction with, or supervision by, the Court. Otherwise, you will have to obtain Court approval before taking most of the usual actions of estate administration, likely resulting in increased expenses and delay.
Specifically, a Personal Representative having nonintervention powers may borrow, mortgage, lease, sell, exchange, distribute, settle the estate, and otherwise take all the actions regarding the estate and its assets that a Trustee may take regarding a Trust under the law without either notice (to heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors) or Court approval--a remarkably broad set of powers. No other State besides possibly Texas allows Personal Representatives such independent powers over probate estates.
If you have been named Personal Representative of someone's estate and have questions about nonintervention powers or any other aspect of the probate process, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to see how we can be of service.