DAL law firm: How long does the probate last?

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How long does certification take?

Probate is a court-supervised process where ownership of a deceased person’s property is distributed and administered.

The purpose of the probate process is to enable the personal representative or administrator of the deceased to take possession of and retain the deceased’s property, pay debts, and settle the deceased’s affairs with the proper beneficiaries. Depending on each case, the probate may be slightly different and the timeline for the duration of the process may also differ. Below we go over the general overview of the process and a timeline of what it might take.

Washington State allows two simplified probate procedures; an affidavit that does not involve the probate court and a non-court settlement which, despite its name, does involve the probate court. The affidavit procedure can be used if the value of the probate property is less than $100,000. Settlement without judicial intervention can be used:

    • If the estate has sufficient assets to pay debts and taxes
    • If there is a will, the personal representative named in the will goes to court
    • If there is no will, the surviving spouse goes to court
    • If the court determines that it would be in the best interest of the beneficiaries and creditors

Depending on the assets and value of the estate, the work done by the personal representative or administrator, the claim of creditors and whether or not the will is contested may depend on the probate delay. Most probates can be completed in eight months to a year, but any litigation or dispute in the case can extend the time. For example, an inheritance tax return must be filed within nine months of the death of the deceased, but it can also be extended, which is another factor that can prolong the procedure. Of course, it is possible that the family members disagree, the will is contested, or the personal representative is not diligent in his duties, which would lengthen the process considerably.

Once all assets have been acquired and all debts have been paid, probate can usually be closed. We can work with you to determine the right disbursement and timeline for the process to ensure everything goes smoothly. At DAL Law Firm, we understand that proceeding with probate during bereavement can be a difficult time, but we are committed to making the process as easy as possible. Call us today at (206) 408-8158 schedule a consultation to speak with the attorney.

Contact us:

19803 1st Avenue S.
Office 200
Normandy Park, WA 98148

Phone. (206) 408-8158
F (206) 374-2810

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