What Happens If the Decedent Owned Real Property Outside Washington?

If a decedent owns real property or owes taxes in another state or nation, it will likely prove necessary to open a probate in the state or nation where the property lies in order to transfer that property to a living person.  If there is a Washington probate of the decedent’s Will, then the out-of-state proceeding is called an “ancillary probate.” The Washington personal representative will hire an attorney in the location of the real property to help take the steps necessary to transfer or liquidate the decedent's foreign real property.

If a person who resides in another state or nation dies with real property in the State of Washington, the Washington court must admit the foreign Will to probate if provided with an exemplified copy of the decedent’s Will and a certified copy of the order admitting the Will to probate from the decedent’s foreign probate court.  RCW 11.20.090.  Foreign Wills admitted to probate in Washington State shall be governed by Washington law in their Washington probates.  RCW 11.20.100.