How do I get a copy of a will in Washington state?

Contact the probate court in the counties where the deceased lived to determine whether the will was registered. Contact a probate attorney for help. These attorneys have access to networks of other probate attorneys in the state, one of whom may have the will you are looking for.

Are wills public record in WA?

Wills that are filed after the death of a testator are public record. If a Probate case is opened at the time, the full filing fee of $240 must be charged.

How do I get a full copy of a will?

On death, the executors (only) are entitled to see the Will. They may or may not chose to let others have copies. If probate is needed and has been granted then the Will becomes a public document and anyone can obtain a copy, from the Probate Registry.

Where are wills filed in Washington state?

All wills filed with the clerk of the superior court must be noted in the record required to be kept under RCW 36.23. 030(7). They may be withdrawn from the record on the order of the court.

Can anyone request a copy of a will?

In general, a will is a private document unless and until a grant of probate is issued. Once a grant of probate has been issued, a will becomes a public document and anyone can apply to have a copy.

What you need to know about wills and inheritance as a Washington State resident - New Day Northwest

Can a family member ask for a copy of a will?

There is no specific legal requirement for an executor to disclose a will or its terms to anyone who asks for this. However a beneficiary can ask for a copy of the will. If a beneficiary asks to see the will and the executor refuses, they can choose to instruct a solicitor, who can make a formal request for this.

Who keeps the original copy of a will?

Most estate planning attorneys take on the responsibility of holding their clients' original wills and other documents. They do this for two reasons. First, they are often better equipped to keep the originals safe where they can be found when needed.

How long does an executor have to settle an estate in Washington state?

Probate in Washington typically takes six months to a year. It can take much longer if there is a court fight over the will (which is rare) or unusual assets or debts that complicate matters. Unless there is a dispute, it's mainly a matter of filing paperwork.

Do all wills have to go through probate in Washington state?

Washington State law DOES NOT REQUIRE Probate. Probate is discretionary. Practically speaking only a small percent of deaths in Washington result in a Probate being filed.

Do wills have to be filed in Washington state?

Bottom-line: If you are in possession of a Will of a Decedent, Washington law requires you to either promptly: File it with the Court (See: Procedure for Filing Decedent's Will By Itself), or. Deliver it to the named Personal Representative (for his/her filing of the Will, usually together with a Petition for Letters).

Can beneficiaries see a copy of the will?

It is common for beneficiaries to ask to see a copy of the Will. It is however your discretion as Executor whether or not to disclose it to the beneficiary.

Do beneficiaries need a copy of the will?

It is common practice (although again, not obligatory) to show a copy of the will to beneficiaries of the residuary estate (i.e. what is left once any debts have been paid and specific gifts have been made) but they are not automatically entitled to see the will, although they do have the right to know who the ...

Can I copy of a will be used instead of the original?

If a copy of the original will exists, providing certain criteria are met it may be possible to obtain a grant of probate using that copy. It will be necessary to obtain a court order from the probate registry granting a personal representative permission to 'prove' a copy of the will rather than the original document.

Who can see a will in WA?

In Western Australia, only an executor is legally entitled to obtain a copy of a will before it is probated and becomes public record. Unlike other jurisdictions in Australia, in WA there is no statutory entitlement for eligible parties to view the contents of a will before probate is granted.

Can you look at someone's will?

After the death, but before probate is granted, the only people with a right to see the will are the executors named in it. At their discretion, they can show it to anyone else.

How do I find details of a will?

How to find a will before probate
  1. Check their home. Your first port of call should be to check the home of the person who's died for either the document itself or, if a solicitor helped to create the will, their contact details. ...
  2. Check with local solicitors. ...
  3. Check the National Will Register.

Does a house left in a will go to probate?

If the deceased owned assets in their sole name and left a valid will, if the value of the assets is over the probate threshold, then probate will be required and the assets will be distributed in line with the will. However, if there was no valid will the assets will be dealt with under the Law of Intestacy.

How long does the executor have to pay the beneficiaries?

Wait Six Months (or sometimes longer)

By law the Executor has to hold onto estate assets for six months from the date Probate is granted, and cannot pay out any money to the beneficiaries before this time is up.

How do I avoid probate in WA?

Living Trusts

In Washington, you can make a living trust to avoid probate for virtually any asset you own -- real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, and so on. You need to create a trust document (it's similar to a will), naming someone to take over as trustee after your death (called a successor trustee).

What is a typical executor fee in Washington state?

Payment of executors

It is legal for an estate executor to charge a fee for their services, given the extent of responsibility the executor accepts. The state typically sets the fee, but roughly three percent of the value of the estate is standard.

Can an executor withhold property from a beneficiary?

The simple answer is no. The executor has the authority to hold the assets for a certain time for safe-keeping before distributing it. But he cannot withhold assets for any selfish benefit. In a few rare situations, the fee of an executor exceeds the value of the estate in which case he will have to take everything.

What happens if an original will is lost?

If a Will has been lost, there is a presumption it was revoked by destruction by the maker. However, it may be possible to deal with the estate even if the Will cannot be found or produced. An application can be made to court for evidence of the Will's contents to be accepted in place of the original Will.

How do you find a will when someone dies?

If you want to search for the will of a person who died recently, you can apply to the Probate Service for a standing search to be made. They will check their records to see if a grant of probate has been made in the twelve months before your application, and they will continue to check for six months afterwards.

Who gets a copy of a deceased will?

On a person's death, the only people entitled to a copy of the Will are the executors and beneficiaries named in the Will.