Probate FAQs

While the most effective way for us to answer your questions about Probate is during an initial consultation, we have compiled some of the commonly asked questions along with the answers to assist you. Contact our office today for your Probate consultation, and also feel free to review the Probate Process at DAL Law as well as Esate Law and Probate Articles.

1. What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process which occurs after someone passes away if there are assets that need to be distributed.

2. What is the Probate process?

In the probate process, a Court oversees and approves the Decedent's assets, payment of the Decedent's debts, and the transfer of the Decedent's property to their heirs. Please review the Probate Process at DAL Law for a step by step explanation of the probate process.

3. How long does Probate take to complete?

Depending on the complexity of a probate, the process can take as little as six months, or can continue on for years. In most probates handled by our office, we can complete the probate process within one year.

4. I was named the Personal Representative, but I live out of state. Will that be okay?

We have helped many Personal Representatives who live out of state with administering a probate here in Washington State. Most Personal Representatives will come to Washington initially, but all paperwork for the Probate can be completed electronically or by mail.

5. Do I have to go to Court in the Probate?

While at least one court hearing is required, our office will attend the hearing on your behalf and there generally is no need for the Personal Representative to attend any of the Court hearings.

6. What is a Small Estate Affidavit?

A Small Estate Affidavit is a process which allows for the transfer of a Decedent's personal property after their passing. The amount of the Decedent's assets cannot exceed $100,000, and the assets cannot include real estate.

7. Can Probate be opened even without a Will?

Yes, a probate may be opened if there is no will. Without a will the Court will determine who the appropriate Personal Representative should be and who the legal heirs of the Decedent are.