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The death of a loved one is very emotional, yet at the same time families often have many legal and financial questions and concerns. Accessing funds and transferring assets after a person dies can be challenging and may require a court proceeding called a probate.   Probate is an administration of the estate of a deceased person started in court to ensure that the deceased person’s property is distributed according to the terms of their Will or by a statutory scheme if there is no Will (intestate administration).


The Washington State probate process is generally less complicated and less expensive than it is in other states because our state has minimized the amount of involvement courts have.


In this area of practice, when a loved one dies our firm can:


  • Advise you on where to begin and whether a probate is needed

  • Prepare the necessary court documents if probate is required

  • Explore options to access assets without going through the probate process 

  • Assist you in the transfer of assets to trusts that may be included in the Will and advise the trustee on how to administer the trust

  • Advise you as to any taxes that may need to be paid or any required tax reporting

Sometimes probate is not necessary because the decedent owned all of their assets in a living trust (sometimes also called a revocable trust or a revocable living trust).  Even though probate may be avoided, legal and financial matters may still need to be addressed to assure that the decedent’s express wishes are carried out.  If you have been appointed to serve as a trustee of a trust it is important to get legal advice on how to comply with your obligations.   The attorneys at STIB regularly advise trustees on their duties and responsibilities in administering a trust upon the death of a loved one.


The loss of a loved one is a difficult time. Probate is the process through which the estate of someone who has passed away is administered and their property is distributed according to the law and the person’s wishes as expressed in their estate plan, if they chose to create one. Limitless Law PLLC works hard to make the probate process easy to understand and manage.


While each estate presents its own unique challenges based on the nature of the deceased’s family, most involve the following steps:


  • Filing a Petition for Probate with the Court to open an Estate and appoint a Personal Representative or Administrator (executor)

  • Providing Notice to Heirs of the Estate

  • Inventorying and Evaluating the assets and debts of the Estate

  • Payment of the Estate debts and Taxes

  • Distribution of the Estate Assets

We also have the experience to help you with alternatives to the probate process, including Lack of Probate Affidavits and Small Estate Affidavits, in cases where probate is not needed.


Trust Administration is the process by which the assets of a trust are distributed to beneficiaries after the death of the trust creator. There are a number of legal requirements for overseeing trusts and many people are often surprised at how complex the process can be.


Sherrard McGonagle Tizzano & Lind, P.S. professionally administer trusts, guide trustees and other vested parties through legal issues that may arise during the trust administration process and provide counsel on asset ownership and title issues, tax issues, asset valuation and more. We offer help with any conflict that may arise throughout the trust administration process.


After the death of a loved one, family members may face a difficult grieving period. During this time, it can be stressful to address the legal details of finalizing your loved one’s affairs. If there was a will, how do you legally transfer the assets? What if there is a trust — who ensures that beneficiaries receive payment? And what if the estate must go through probate — how do you navigate this complex legal process?


Helping You Finalize Your Family Member’s Affairs

At Sherrard McGonagle Tizzano & Lind, P.S., we can help you address all of these important questions. Our probate lawyers have a dedicated focus on estate matters and have helped a significant number of people address issues in probate and trust administration.


When someone dies, the estate may need to be administered to ensure that wealth is transferred to the appropriate people. This can be done through probate, trusts or titling of assets. Our law firm can advise on all aspects of these processes, including validating wills and trusts, identifying heirs, inventorying the assets and payment of debts and taxes. As your legal counsel, we will help ensure that your estate administration matter is handled efficiently for the benefit of all survivors.


Compassionate Service When You Need It The Most

When you work with our law firm, we understand that this is an emotional time for you and your family. We provide compassionate service as we address your legal matter and work to make the processes as stress-free as possible.

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