Guiding clients with experience and understanding 

There are a lot of questions that come up when a loved one passes away. Who pays for the funeral? How are the final bills paid? How does their property get transferred to their family and friends the way they wanted it to?

“Probate” is the formal legal process of wrapping up an individual’s affairs after they have passed away, according to their intentions, whether or not they had a will. The court appoints a Personal Representative to handle these matters, but often the person appointed is a family member who is not familiar with the process.

If a loved one has recently passed away, it can be difficult and overwhelming to try to carry out their wishes, especially without someone to help navigate the legal mire that must be traversed to fully administer an estate. Both Washington and Idaho have various time and notice requirements to follow in order to properly administer an estate.

The law is complex. Our attorneys use their experience and understanding of the law to guide clients through the probate process quickly and effectively. They can also assist clients in determining how to fairly divide up sentimental items and other personal property.

How property gets distributed throughout the process is affected by many different factors, including:

  • Did the person have a will?
  • Did the person have a family?
  • Did the person have community and separate property?
  • Did the person own property in other states?
  • Did the person owe someone else money?
  • Did others owe the person money?
  • Are there tax returns that need to be filed?

Despite the complexity, people avoid hiring lawyers to help them with a probate because:

  1. They believe lawyers are too expensive;
  2. They think that there is no need to go through probate process; or
  3. They think that because the family all gets along that there is no need for an attorney

Here are some common questions that clients ask:

Do I have to do a probate?

In some cases, no formal probate is required. Our attorneys can advise you on whether the estate qualifies to be completed without a probate.

The will indicates that I am to be the personal representative, does that mean I am responsible for paying for an attorney?

In most cases, the estate will pay the costs and fees, including the fees for attorneys and other professionals to assist in the process. The attorneys at Wolff, Hislop & Crockett will advise you on these options.

Aren’t attorneys expensive?

While it may seem expensive to hire an attorney, the skilled team at Wolff Hislop and Crockett save Personal Representatives substantial time and from making costly mistakes. We use our skilled staff to complete tasks in a cost effective manner. Ultimately, our clients find that it is money well spent.
Whether you have been named as a personal representative or you are a beneficiary and would like help understanding the process and your options, schedule a consultation now.


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Spokane Valley, WA 99206

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