Have you been named as the Executor of a family member's estate? Are you trying to sell property that you inherited from a parent or grandparent? Maybe there’s a family business that has lost its leader, the family patriarch? Whatever your family’s circumstance, you’re trying to figure out how to sort through an “estate,” which is a legal term for everything owned and owed by a deceased person. We’re here to help.

When someone you love dies, there are many legal issues to handle. If the deceased person owned real estate, stocks, bonds, or had a bank account or a vehicle, it is likely that probate proceedings will need to be started with the court so that someone can be appointed to handle his or her affairs. This is true whether the deceased person had a Will or not. Depending on the circumstances, the person who is in charge of the estate – called the “executor,” “administrator,” or “personal representative” – may be required to post a bond, publish legal notices in the paper, and file reports with the court after opening the estate.

Death is a stressful, emotional time, and inheritances sometimes come with unexpected emotional baggage. Don’t worry – we can help when everyone is on the same page, or when there’s a fight about who should be in charge and who should get what.

Once the estate is open, the deceased person’s assets and property have to be collected, creditors have to be paid, and what’s left is given to the deceased person’s heirs or beneficiaries, depending on whether there was a Will. (When there’s a Will, that’s a “testate” estate. When there’s no Will, that’s an "intestate" estate.) Once all creditors have been paid, all of the deceased person’s assets have been transferred, and all required reports have been filed, the Personal Representative will need to file a "Declaration of Completion" to close the estate and be officially relieved from the fiduciary responsibilities associated with the position.

Though the probate process in Washington and Idaho is not as expensive as in some other states, it can still be confusing upon your first encounter. We know that stepping into the shoes of a deceased parent, grandparent, spouse, or friend to conclude their affairs can feel like an overwhelming burden. You want to do what’s right and respect your loved one’s wishes, but you just aren’t sure how to do it. That’s where we come in. Our mission is to provide skilled, responsive representation in estate cases. We take the burden off of your shoulders. We guide you through the court efficiently. We direct you through the maze of estate administration, explaining the “legalese” we encounter along the way. We make estate administration easy on you.

Give us a call at 253.858.5434 to see how we can help.