Probate Law

The most common reason for probate is that the decedent passed away holding property titled in his or her name. Probate property is subject to probate. Probate assets are:

  • real property titled in his or her name
  • personal property (cash, bank account, security account, etc) titled in his or her name exceeding $100,000

    Property considered to be non-probate assets are not subject to probate. Non probate assets are property:
  • Held in Joint Tenancy (with Right of Survivorship)
  • Subject to a Community Property Agreement between decedent and his/her surviving spouse
  • Subject to death beneficiary designations, such as Payable or Transferable on Death accounts, life insurance policies, IRA’s or other pension plans
  • Held by decedent’s living trust

Probate Law Attorneys


Proper estate planning can protect your estate from ever going through the probate process. However, Washington's probate system allows your personal representative to act on your behalf with complete authority and without court intervention in nearly every case. If you do not appoint a representative before your passing, the court will appoint one for you. This personal representative will be responsible for resolving all of your affairs.

Probate Law is entirely discretionary in the state of Washington, in that it can generally be avoided with living trusts, beneficiary designations, joint tenancy, and community property agreements. In these circumstances if a probate is filed, it is not because the law requires it; but, instead because a family member or business associate wants to challenge the disposition of the estate.

Washington law does require the last will of a Washington resident decedent to be filed promptly following death. Regardless of whether the decedent's estate will be probated, the will should be filed with the Clerk's Office of the Superior court of decedent's resident county at death, and generally within forty days of the decedent's death.

In the event that you believe that a probate is necessary, consult our probate law attorneys at the Law Office of Sam K. Eck. Our qualified attorneys will first determine if the asset(s) qualify for a specific exception and prepare the required affidavits to transfer the assets. Otherwise, they will prepare the necessary documents to initiate the probate process, guide you through the process and prepare the necessary documents to finalize the process.