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Guiding You Through The Probate Process Following A Death

Probate is the court-supervised transfer of property from a person who has died (decedent) to his or her heirs and beneficiaries. If the decedent had a will, the will specifies who receives the decedent's estate.

The decedent with a will is said to have died "testate." If the decedent did not have a will, state law defines who inherits the estate. The decedent without a will is said to have died "intestate" and the estate ends up in a court proceeding called probate.

Probate is a complicated court process that involves many steps. It is important that you work with an experienced attorney should probate be necessary. The law firm of Case & Dusterhoff, LLP, serves clients throughout Washington and Oregon, including the cities of Seattle and Portland.

Petition And Appointment Of A Personal Representative

The attorney identifies who can and should serve as the personal representative, or "fiduciary" for the decedent's estate. The attorney then prepares a petition to the court asking that the court appoint the personal representative (executor).

The personal representative, or "fiduciary;" is a manager of moneys, assets, and businesses that do not belong to him or her. The personal representative is required to complete the following:

  • Carry out the necessary tasks of the estate
  • Act prudently regarding assets (for example, only invest in the most conservative investments)
  • Act loyally and avoid conflicts of interest
  • Act impartially to all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors
  • Protect estate assets
  • Delegate wisely
  • Provide information to heirs and beneficiaries
  • Keep a paper trail of all transactions

Contact Case & Dusterhoff, LLP, to discuss your probate matters with an experienced lawyer by calling 503-607-8218 or 800-658-0167. You may also contact us online.

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