Simplified probate makes it easier for a surviving spouse or beneficiary to collect the remaining estate. There are faster, more streamlined ways of transferring a deceased person’s assets in Washington.
Streamlining the process
Most states have simplified versions of their probate procedures. The executor usually has to file a request in a probate court to receive this simplified process. The court can shorten the estate administration & probate by several months and decrease the costs of legal fees.
In Washington, the executor or beneficiary has the option to file an affidavit or make a settlement without going through probate court. In either case, this person has to inform the other heirs of the plan.
An affidavit includes the total value of the property, including certain expenses, and your rights of ownership. This document allows Washington residents to inherit property and assets that are valued at $100,000 or lower amounts.
A settlement is provided if a will exists that lists the individual’s property, beneficiaries and creditors. If there is no will, a settlement is provided if the decedent has no immediate family members or he or she owns community property. In the end, the judge can decide which option works in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The court can also appoint a representative of the estate if one is not chosen or unavailable.
The most complex probate cases take six months or longer to complete and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. The probate process includes two types of simplified versions from filing an affidavit to making a settlement out of court. The executor can decide which option is easier or have the court decide.