When someone dies and it comes to administering their estate - the process commonly referred to as "probate” - many people fear it is daunting and complicated, but it can actually be as simple as four basic steps.

(1) File the petition to admit the Will (if there is one) and appoint the Personal Representative with the Court and give notice to heirs and beneficiaries.
(2) Following appointment by the Court, the Personal Representative must give notice to all known creditors of the estate and take an inventory of the estate property.
(3) All estate administrative expenses (including funeral expenses and expenses of the decedent's last illness), debts, and taxes must be paid from the estate.
(4) The estate property is transferred according to the Will or under the state's laws of intestacy (if the decedent did not have a Will).

A properly drafted and executed Will, updated regularly to account for life changes, organized records of debts, personal property, and other assets simplifies the probate process. The easier it is for your Personal Representative to trace your steps after you're gone, the easier the process.

If you have questions about the probate process or if you've been nominated to serve as Personal Representative to administer someone's estate, give us a call at 253.858.5434 to see how we can help. We've been representing clients in estate administration matters since 1996 and proudly represent clients throughout Washington and Idaho.