Lancaster Law Office helps families wind up the affairs of a loved one who has died; we bring expertise and compassion to this difficult task.

After death, a person’s Will becomes effective.  The decedent's wishes for disposal of her remains, as expressed in her Funeral Instructions, are carried out.  The Will and associated documents guide a personal representative (executor) in paying the deceased person’s bills, settling any disputes, accounting to the Internal Revenue Service, and distributing the deceased person’s property in the manner required by the Will.  If the decedent has no Will, the default provisions of Washington law govern (the intestacy statute).

If probate is necessary, we file initial probate pleadings, and assist the personal representative in getting appointed by the court.  We publish notice to creditors, commencing the process of terminating claims against the deceased person.  We work with the personal representative to settle any disputes involving the deceased person, to file his or her final tax returns, and to make asset distributions.  In this process, disputes may be settled by court hearing or by TEDRA proceedings, which are an alternative to court process.  Finally, we help the personal representative close the probate case.

A personal representative's duties are governed by statute.  Brad has combined core requirements with some practical advice in his Instructions to Personal Representatives.

The following are questions in probate law about which you may wish to learn more.  My answers to these inquiries summarize their topics, and do not aim to provide exhaustive knowledge, but rather an introduction to the topic.  Please read the statutes referenced for more complete details.