Probate is the process your property goes through to reach beneficiaries at your death. Whether you had a will or not, if you die, the Washington law may not require that you file a probate proceeding. However, it will not prevent you from filing either; it leaves it to your discretion.
According to Findlaw, two death situations may call for the filing of probate proceedings. If the descendant left behind a real property registered in their name or if they left behind over $100000 of personal property in cash or securities, probate becomes necessary.
A look into the probate process
Before the probate process, the person named in the will as a personal representative will take charge of the property. If there is no mention of such a person, the court will appoint someone.
Other than assembling all the assets, the personal representative will be responsible for paying all bills and distributing the property when required.
When should you file the will?
Whether the estate will undergo probate or not, you have to submit the will once the descendent dies. You must file it within 40 days at the Office of the Clerk at a court in your county. Once you finish, the process will kick off, but it will vary depending on other factors.
It is worth noting that Washington laws allow you to use a much simpler process by letting you skip probate, especially if the descendant did not have a lot of property. If the estate is big enough, you will have to follow the probate process.