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Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 961
Experience:  I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Family Law Attorney.
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The personal rep petitioned to reopen the estate and

Customer Question

The personal rep petitioned to reopen the estate and reconvey property in a Washington probate matter. I prepared an ANSWER and filed it via mail (I am out of state). The hearing was continued several times then they cancelled the hearing altogether. The matter was never heard. After 6 months they withdrew the Petition and filed a new Petition entitled VERIFIED TEDRA PETITION and scheduled a hearing with the Probate Judge this month. The Citation indicates the CAUSE as TEDRA HEARING. It states the Personal Rep wants the Court to 'determine the matter is subject to judicial determination and decide all issues of law and fact at the initial hearing'. I cannot get an attorney and must file my answer Pro Se. Having said all this I have a couple questions:
1. What is the difference between tthe original Petition to Reopen Estate they filed and this Petition, Verified TEDRA Petition? The arguments in the Petition are very similar to the original Petition except the new TITLE and they used my answers from the original Petition to strengthen their case.
2. If the Judge decides the matter is subject to 'judicial determination and decides all issues of law and fact at the initial hearing' how does that affect the case?
3. What is a VERIFIED TEDRA PETITION? Does this mean the matter has been assigned to dispute resolution and will not be heard by the Judge or is that what this hearing is to decide?
4. When preparing the Answer should I include all the underlying facts and respond to their arguments in the Petition relating to the original matter or am I expected to state my objection on the TEDRA issue?
5. Is it permissible for the Petitioner to use my Answer to re-state their case in a more favorable light and refile it as a new Petition like they did? Should I make the Judge aware of this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

1. TEDRA is Trust and Estates Dispute Resolution Act - it is a procedural set of laws in WA to be used for resolving estate or probate disputes. Not sure what process the PR used in the initial petition.

2. It appears that the PR is asking the judge to rule on all issues and resolve all disputes at the initial hearing. If you file a Response to TEDRA petition and object to what the petition asks for, then the judge will not rule at the first hearing.

3. Verified just means it was signed under oath at the end. The initial hearing is usually for the judge to decide some procedure matters.

4. In your response you should stick to responding to the allegation in the TEDRA petition not the earlier one.

5. Not sure of the answer here - need to know the specifics of the "old" dispute and the "new" dispute.

I will follow up with a reference to WA state law so you can look up the TEDRA statutes

Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

Not sure where I saw Washington state referred to. Is this a Georgia estate matter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is a Washington estate. I live in Georgia.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have included three documents. Just the first page of each one. The one called tester is the original Petition filed against the estate by the PR. The second document is my OBJECTION. The third document is the new Petition (TEDRA) filed recently. As I mentioned earlier, after I filed my OBJECTION they kept rescheduling and then cancelling the hearings for 6 months. Then after the last cancellation they never scheduled another date. Now I receive the new TEDRA Petition. It's the same arguments just has all the TEDRA lingo and a new attorney. They also used my OBJECTION, which pointed out the weaknesses in their Petition, to make their new Petition stronger. They withdrew their old Petition that's been sitting there 6 months. I need help figuring out is this a new petition about something else or is it the same thing just called something different? I know the arguments in the petition are the same. I think I read somewhere that the petitioner is not allowed to Use an Objection to strengthen their case, then refile a new petition. Does this appear to be what they are doing? Or is this new TEDRA petition something different than their original petition? It's the same dispute. They are asking the judge to reopen the estate and reconvey property in both petitions. The second petition just leaves out all the untruths they told in the original petition that I pointed out in my Objection. Evertyhing else is the same except the addition of the term TEDRA in the heading.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please let me know what you think?
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

I only see the first page of the old Petition to re-open. Just based on that, my comment is that if the real estate bequest to Joe was a specific bequest, and not a percentage or share bequest, but specific real estate was willed to him, he is not obligated to have his bequest charged or reduced by the expenses of the estate, unless the expenses exceeded the value of the residual estate.

Anyway, maybe do two separate additional attachments with each page that did not get posted.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, that' not the situation at all. There was no WILL. The reason I only sent the first page is because I just want you to look at the first page of both Petitions, the first one, Petition to Reopen and the TEDRA petition. Is the TEDRA petition a different type of petition than the first petition? Is it viewed differently by the Judge than a petitoin that is not called TEDRA? Both petitions are making the same request, reopen the estate and reconvey property. I am trying to figure out if I am supposed to respond differenltly to the petition labeled TEDRA. The body of the petitions are the same. The first Petition was cancelled in June but they never withdrew it. Now they have filed this one which is the same as the first one except it has this TEDRA acronym all over it. How does a TEDRA petition differ from an non TEDRA petition?
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

I do not see the first page of the TEDRA petition - you did not attach it.

Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

A TEDRA petition is involking the TEDRA set of laws, which are all procedural and a little less formal procedure than non TEDRA probate litigation. But if the request in the second petition is the same as the first, then your response or answer would be the same in terms of your objections or recitals as to why the petition should be dismissed. the timing for your response should be stated in the Summons that you should have received with the TEDRA petition. TEDRA laws require the parties to mediate, then go to arbitration if needed, before any party can have a judge or jury trial.

If you do a web search on

" WA state RCW Title 11. PROBATE AND TRUST LAW (§§ 11.02.001 - 11.118.110)

Chapter 11.96A. Trust and estate dispute resolution (§§ 11.96A.010 - 11.96A.902)" you will find the TEDRA laws.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This TEDRA Petition requests the Court determine the matter is subject to judicial determination, and decide all issues of law and all issues of fact at the initial hearing. It doesn't sound like they are asking for mediation. Doesn't that mean the Judge will decide everything on the hearing date? See bottom paragraph of the first page I uploaded. Since both my brother and sister were issued a Summons and told they both need to submit an Answer, should they submit separate Answers or one Answer? Only a couple of their arguments to my sister. The majority of them are for Joe to answer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry. this is taking too long. at this rate I will get the answers I need in a week! I am going to have to start all over again so please delete this message from your queue
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

Do you want me to opt out and open the question up to other experts? I am the only WA attorney here though