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WA-Probate > Probate Instructions > Probate for Dummies > Opening the Simple Estate

 

Washington Probate Instructions & Forms "for Dummies"

 

 

I.  Opening the Simple Estate

  1. Preparing for Court

  2. Going to Court

  3. Giving Notice of Your Appointment

 

A.  Preparing for Court    

  1. Filing a Case Cover Sheet

  2. Filing Decedent's Will

  3. Petitioning for Letters

  4. Drafting a Proposed Court Order

  5. Filing an Oath of Personal Representative

  6. Filing a Probate Notice to Creditors

  7. Telephoning the Probate Clerk

 

 

1.  Filing a Case Cover Sheet    

 

Select, complete, and sign the appropriate form from among the following three alternatives:

 

2.  Filing Decedent's Will    

 

If Decedent died TESTATE, file Decedent's Will when you file for probate.

 

 

3.  Petitioning for Letters    

 

Complete and sign a:

 

            If TESTATE:

 

Petition for Probate of Will, Letters Testamentary, & Nonintervention Powers form.

 

            If INTESTATE:

 

Petition for Letters of Administration & Nonintervention Powers form.

 

 

4.  Drafting a Proposed Court Order    

 

Download an:

 

            If TESTATE:

 

Order Admitting Will to Probate & Granting Letters Testamentary & Nonintervention Powers form.

 

            If INTESTATE:

 

Order Granting Letters of Administration & Nonintervention Powers form.

 

Add the Header (ie, complete the top half of the first page: county and Decedent's name) and your contact information on the footer to the Order and sign it.

 

 

5.  Filing an Oath of Personal Representative    

 

Complete the Header for an:

 

            If TESTATE:

 

Oath of Personal Representative (With Will) form.

 

            If INTESTATE:

 

Oath of Personal Representative (Without Will) form.

 

Take it to a Notary, sign it in front of the notary, and have the notary "notarize" your signature.

 

Side-bar: Notary at King County Courthouse and Kent Regional Justice Center.

 

 

6.  Filing a Probate Notice to Creditors    

 

Complete and sign a

 

Probate Notice to Creditors form.

 

Choose a legal newspaper in the county of Decedent's residence at death to publish your Probate Notice to Creditors and coordinate with them the date that it will be first published.  See: Legal Newspapers & Costs of Publication.  Add that date to the line stating "Date of First Publication of this Notice."  Ignore for the moment the line stating "Decedent's Social Security Number."

 

6.  Telephoning the Probate Clerk    

 

Telephone the County Clerk in the county where your probate will be filed (Telephone Numbers) and ask to speak to the probate clerk:

  1. Determine the days and times when the Court is available to hear probate Petitions for Letters.

     

  2. Determine if there are any requirements specific to your county or other requirements that it would be helpful for you to know before going to Court.  For example:
     

Complete any of the foregoing requirements that may be applicable to you.

 

You have now completed the steps required to prepare to go to Court to open a typical simple probate estate.

 

 


 

 

B.  Going to Court    

 

See in general:  Washington Probate Court Practice

 

And in particular:

By completing the instructions shown above, you will have completed the steps required to obtain your Letters for a typical simple probate estate.

 

 


 

 

C.  Giving Notice of Your Appointment    

  1. To Heirs & Beneficiaries

  2. To Washington Department of Social & Health Services ("WDSHS")

  3. To Internal Revenue Service ("IRS")

 

1.  To Heirs & Beneficiaries    

 

If TESTATE:

If INTESTATE:

 

2.  To Washington Department of Social & Health Services ("WDSHS")

 

After your Probate Notice to Creditors is first published (See: Publishing a Probate Notice to Creditors):

Timing: Within 30 days of your appointment.

 

3.  To Internal Revenue Service ("IRS")    

 

Download and print for your files the following IRS Publications and Forms:

You may obtain an Employer Identification Number --- EIN --- immediately by submiting a Form SS-4 by either:

Now that you have your EIN:

Internal Revenue Service

Fresno, CA 93888-0002

 


 

You have now completed the steps required to open a typical simple probate estate.

 

 

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