Do I Even Need probate? | WA State Probate TV 003

Do I even need probate?

When someone in your life passes away one of the first questions that’s going to come up is “Do I need a probate to take care of my loved one’s property?”

The answer is “it depends.”

And, hopefully, by the time we are done today, you’re going to have a better idea as to whether or not your specific circumstances require a probate.

Here’s how this is going to go. I’m just going to run down a series of circumstances that often occur and tell you whether or not you need probate to handle them.

IMPORTANT NOTE, though. I’m going to start at the top of the list and go down, So, if you have something happen at the top of the list that requires probate, you’re going to need it for everything.

1. A bank or financial institution tells you you need “letters” to get access to the accounts.

This is probably the easiest of the way to tell.

When a financial institution tells you you need “letters” that means letters testamentary (a will exists) or letters of administration (no will exists). The only way to get “letters” is by opening a probate.

2. You are married and your spouse is to get everything.

You probably don’t need probate in this situation.

3. You own real estate.

If you own real estate you’re probably going to need probate. Probate is the process of transferring an interest in property from one person to another.

When it comes to real estate, probate is just about the only way to do this.

4. You own property in multiple states.

For each state where property is owned you’ll have to play by their rules. Most of the time you’ll need a probate to take care of everything.

5. Your estate is worth more than $100,000.

When you are under $100K the law makes it pretty easy to get everything transferred. When it gets over $100K it gets a little more difficult.

If you want to get the full scoop watch the video (or listen to the audio).

If you have any more questions or think you might want some help, click the link below to schedule a phone or in person strategy session. Looking forward to it!


Christopher Small