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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42909
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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I actually have several questions but here is the first. My

Customer Question

i actually have several questions but here is the first. My mom passed last week, she had a heart problem and needed an unrelated surgery thought she was going to have it and was scared. she asked me to make her a will. all she owned that she wanted to keep safe was a piece of property her and i both resided on in separate homes a couple cars and her bank accounts containing roughly 20,000. she had a cashiers check made out to me with the bulk of the money she had so i could distribute that as she wished. im one of two children and am the oldest at 43. i also have a brother 13 years younger. we were all close. anyhow i looked up a basic wa state form online and read what had to be done for legalities, printed it out and took it to her. she told me what to write, which was just a few sentences regarding the above. and i left it with her and told her she needed to get it notarized to make it legal. she talked about getting down there constantly and then she died. i located the will and she did sign and initial all the pages, in most places i showed her, but never had it notarized. what are my options at this point? oh and she also left me several signed checks on each of her accounts so i could access those funds, but im afraid that may not be legal to do. what are my options?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.

You will need a local lawyer to make application for intestate( no will) probate.This is court supervised and the assets pass under the laws of intestacy to the nearest legal heirs probably you and your siblings.You can seek to be appointed personal representative so you can make sure that the property is divided properly and sold if necessary and proceeds divided.The court has to approve each item along the way .

I am so sorry for your loss of loved one and your situation.

Lawyer referral.


King County Bar Association LRS
Seattle, WA

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Counties Served: King, Pierce

Meets ABA Standards for Lawyer Referral

Attorney Referral Service
Bremerton, WA

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Counties Served: Kitsap, and surrounding areas

Lewis County Bar Legal Aid / LRS
Chehalis, WA

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Counties Served: Lewis

Snohomish County Bar Association
Everett, WA

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Counties Served: Snohomish, Whatcom, Skagit, Island, King

Southwest Washington Lawyer Referral Service
Vancouver, WA

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Counties Served: Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, Wahkiakum; Oregon: Lewis, Multnomah

Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
Tacoma, WA

Phone:(###) ###-####br />Counties Served: Pierce

Washington laws of intestacy

Expect probate here to take at least a year.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for your response. and the contact information is fantastic and no doubt will be a tremendous help i really appreciate it. just so that im clear, so even though she made a will with her wishes and signed it, it doesnt hold any weight? and regarding the checks she wrote me, im afraid to cash them, is it legal to do so? i mean what happens with the outstanding checks she had out? are they no longer good because she has passed. and if so arent i as her child responsible for those if the bank refuses them?
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

If the will was not properly executed it is not admissible to probate.You can try to cash the checks.Sometimes there is a two week or so lag before they freeze the account.The death certificate once issues is picked up by credit bureau and banks all subscribe.In old days with local banks they read obituaries but since they are nationwide banks the service is how they find them and freeze them unless there was a right of survivorship on account.Thanks again and the best here.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

If you can positive rate when we are done it is always much appreciated.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Washington state will requirements.

In Washington, the laws regarding the valid execution and witnessing of a Will are set forth in the Revised Code of Washington, Title 11 Probate and Trust law, Chapter 12 Wills Sections .010, .020, .160; Chapter 20 Custody Proof and Probate of Wills, Chapter .020.

In Washington, any person eighteen (18) years of age and of sound mind may make a Will. (See: Section 11.12.010) “Sound mind” generally means someone who has not been deemed incompetent in a prior legal proceeding.

A Will must be in writing, signed by the testator and by two witnesses. If the testator cannot physically sign his name he may direct another party to do so. This party may not be one of the witnesses. Each witness must sign the Will in the testator’s presence. (See: Section 11.12.020)

Again unfortunately the will here was not properly executed and not admissible in probate.Thanks again.