Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers in Tacoma, WA
Dealing with the death of a loved one, in itself, can be very stressful. In order to make the grieving process less problematic, you will need an attorney who can help deal with legal matters. Trying to understand probate forms and the court system can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Deal with probate issues with a reliable estate planning law firm.
Additionally, knowing what probate means is crucial if you are currently working on your estate plan. Many people are unaware that a last will and testament is not the only way to distribute one’s assets. Setting up trusts generally provides better asset protection and helps avoid probate.
If you have questions on estate administration, testamentary letters, intestacy, or probate, seek legal advice from a seasoned and reliable Tacoma probate lawyer. Our Washington estate planning lawyers can clearly and comprehensively explain to you estate planning laws and statutes that you need to know.
A Quick Overview of Probate Proceedings
In simple terms, probate refers to the legal process where the probate court sees that estate assets are distributed according to the last will and testament of the deceased. In the absence of any wills, a court order will distribute personal property and other assets of the estate pursuant to relevant probate rules and guidelines.
When someone dies, discussions on probate property, particularly on real property, are especially crucial. When a proceeding is brought to court, the probate code will determine how estate property will be administered following the decedent’s wishes if legal documents are available. Such distribution takes place after any debts owed are paid to the creditor concerned.
It is important to remember, however, that not all estates have to go through probate. State law in Washington, for instance, does not require a probate proceeding to be filed following death. This is true whether the decedent died with a will or without (testate or intestate). In Washington, if a probate is filed, it is because someone wants it to be filed, not because the law requires it.
Bank rules, for instance, may not allow large accounts to be closed without probate. Our estate planning lawyers at Jones Legacy Law can provide legal assistance and explain whether or not probate is applicable given your case. Dial (253) 303 5683 and seek legal advice from knowledgeable and well-trained probate lawyers in Tacoma that can help with your case.
Common Probate Forms You Might Encounter
Together with the Petition for Probate, there are various legal forms that you will likely need to accomplish. It is important to note, however, that each state and county will have different required forms, depending on the actual case.
Interested Party Notification and Certification Form
The certification is essentially documentation that the necessary notification to heirs, family members, and other interested parties has been made.
Estate Announcement and Creditor Notification
Similar to the Interested Party Notification, this involves providing a notification to creditors and putting up the required notice in a local paper.
This legal document tells the court of all the estate activity you must duly accomplish for the legal proceeding to go smoothly.
In this final step within the probate procedure, any remaining assets will be distributed to rightful beneficiaries. This will also discharge the personal representative from their responsibilities.
If you have legal questions on any of the above, contact our law office today. We offer a free consultation to potential clients who need help with probate and estate planning. We can also answer questions related to living wills, living trusts, joint tenancy, survivorship, and power of attorney. Call our Wasington estate planning law office at (253) 303 5683 today or send us a message.
Why It is Generally Advised to Avoid Probate Proceedings
As mentioned, Washington law does not require a probate proceeding to be filed following death, regardless of whether the deceased person died testate or intestate. Essentially, probate is filed because someone wants it to be filed, and not because it is required.
If the estate of a deceased is part of a probate case, you must fill out several court forms with legal supervision. Preparing numerous probate forms that you must file can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Additionally, given the nature and volume of probate matter brought to court, the actual proceeding could take a lengthy period of time.
It is best to consult with a local attorney to ensure that your actions will not lead to unwanted complications with these in mind. Our Tacoma probate lawyers at Jones Legacy Law can provide the legal services that you need. Call us or send us a message today.
Supervision from Experienced Probate Lawyers in Washington
Some people commit the mistake of drafting wills and other estate planning documents on their own. Experienced estate planning lawyers can attest how often this has resulted in a lot of unnecessary stress to your loved ones when you die.
One might feel confident of appointing an heir or making decisions without getting legal counsel from experts. Do not be tempted to work on these legal documents without due supervision. Probate laws can be pretty complex, and wills and trust are serious legal matters. Having an estate lawyer assisting you as you write a will ensures that you understand all aspects of estate planning laws comprehensively.
To both a testator drafting a will and a would-be beneficiary, it is usually advised to have estate attorneys supervising them as they appoint heirs. The administration of estates can be quite complex and may require a considerable amount of time to undertake all the needed tasks. This is where reliable legal services become crucial.
Seek legal help before you create a will to ensure its validity. Estate assets are often quite significant, and you would want the right people to inherit what you worked hard for. Consult with a competent and compassionate Tacoma, WA probate attorney today.
Getting Basic Information on Estate Administration
Many people associate the need for a probate attorney with intestate probate cases. If a family member died without a will, the supposed beneficiary will likely deal with intestate probate. In such a legal proceeding, it helps for the concerned heir of the deceased person to be familiar with intestate rules.
In Washington, the probate laws do not always require a probate proceeding to be filed following death, regardless of whether the decedent died with or without a valid will. However, even if a family member was able to make a will before death, it is possible that someone would have probate filed. One example would be heirs of a testator who did not specify that their real or personal property will transfer to the surviving spouse upon death.
Given the tedious probate procedure involved, many people take steps to avoid probate. Depending on the actual circumstance, however, avoiding probate may not be possible. It can, however, be a lot less stressful with legal help from seasoned probate attorneys. Get in touch with a reliable probate law firm early in the process.
At Jones Legacy Law, our top-tier Tacoma estate planning attorneys can explain in detail how legal documents related to probate matters are processed. We can also help with matters related to other estate planning documents or areas of law such as bankruptcy and elder law.
Why Going through the Probate Process Should Be Taken Seriously
In general, for probate proceedings to commence, a petitioner will have to file the death certificate and last will and testament at the relevant courthouse. With this are duly filled out court forms (Petition for Probate), which ideally should have been accomplished with the help of a probate attorney.
After an appropriate notice is given to interested parties and jurisdiction over necessary parties is proven to the probate judge, the appointed personal representative will receive a certification. Such will be required to open a bank account, get a tax identification number, and file applicable tax returns for the estate. After the beneficiaries approve the arrangement, the assets of the estate will then be distributed accordingly.
As mentioned, the actual probate procedure is under local statutes, which can significantly vary from state to state. A dedicated probate lawyer in Tacoma can help ensure that you comply with all relevant probate and estate law in Washington.
Avoid stressful probate proceedings by speaking to our legal team at Jones Legacy Law. Call or send us a message today.
The Importance of Having a Good Estate Plan
We will never know what will happen in the future. Times are uncertain, and unexpected events, such as encountering an accident or being afflicted with an illness, can affect our present situation and our family’s future. Estate planning is the proactive process of anticipating possible issues and scenarios, addressing them before they happen, and minimizing the frustration and emotional distress of losing a loved one.
Most of the time, one’s estate property is divided among family members of a decedent, except if a particular family member is disinherited. Here, the legal services of a trusted Tacoma estate planning attorney are necessary to ensure that the estate plan you create will be beneficial for appointed heirs and beneficiaries. Additionally, an excellent local attorney can also explain relevant state law on estate taxes. An estate tax or inheritance tax is often required, but applicable tax laws can be quite confusing.
Preparing estate planning documents promptly and correctly in place allows you to rest more easily. It helps to know that your loved ones do not have to deal with the additional burden of figuring out what you would want to do when an unexpected life event or death occurs in the family. The situation itself will likely leave them troubled and stressed. Make sure complicated legal proceedings will not aggravate it. Call us at (253) 303 5683 to know how we can help.
Seek Legal Help from Trusted Washington Probate Attorneys
Probate is a legal process taken once a person passes away. Estate assets must be disbursed in a manner consistent with both state laws and the directions that a person has put forth while still alive. The latter, in particular, often refer to those stated in their last will and testament. The executor of the will or estate administrator deals with the estate’s assets through the documents called Letters Testamentary and Letters Administration.
Although there is a Uniform Probate Code, the actual legal process you will follow in a particular case will depend on the guidelines outlined in relevant statutes.
Our estate planning attorneys in Washington will help you as you clarify your intentions and protect your family. We will make it known to all concerned how you wish to deal with your health care, personal & business affairs, and even your death. Call us at Jones Legacy Law to find out what steps you can take to plan for the unexpected. Call or send us a message and know-how our legal team can protect your family’s future!
Looking for Seasoned Estate Planning Attorneys in Washington
Estate planning attorneys in Tacoma often get a lot of questions related to wills and probate. Very simply, estate administration refers to the judicial proceeding concerned with transferring a decedent’s assets to surviving heirs after death. This, however, is a lot more complicated than it sounds.
Probate issues are one of the many things that people take for granted. Our Tacoma, Washington estate planning attorneys can assist in creating an estate plan that allows a simpler administration of the estate upon death. Our carefully crafted estate plans can also give you the ability to legally help a loved one if they become incapacitated.
Additionally, if you would simply like to explore your options, call our Tacoma estate planning law firm. We can provide the legal services you need and answer your legal questions. Call us at James A. Jones, Attorney at Law, and consult with a top-tier Tacoma probate attorney today.