Probate / Estate Administration

When a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed.  If your loved-one owned his or her assets through a well drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary, though the successor trustee needs to administer the distribution of the deceased's assets.  The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules and schedule of the probate court.

Every probate estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:

  • Filing of a petition with the proper probate court.
  • Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists).
  • Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a Will) or Administrator for the estate.
  • Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator.
  • Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors.
  • Sale of estate assets.
  • Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
  • Final distribution of assets to heirs.

Probate, estate administration, and estate planning can be very personal matters.  Snd since our clients are often making very emotional decisions regarding their families’ futures, we help them make well-grounded and informed choices.


Our law firm has experience with probate cases in which the deceased left a detailed will, as well as cases in which there was no will at all. As your personal and legal advocate, our team will assist in accounting for all property and income of the deceased in order to pay any remaining debts, taxes and other claims. We will help you and your family settle disputes and distribute remaining property to heirs, including transferring titles.

Will Contests and Elder Abuse

Our attorneys handle probate cases involving contested wills and abuse of powers of attorney by persons who may be spending resources in a manner against the wishes of their ward.

Estate Planning

Having a will gives people peace of mind in knowing that their final wishes will be respected and their estate will be distributed as they wanted. Proactive estate planning also minimizes the probate process, easing the burden on grieving survivors.

Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills

Beyond living wills, our estate planning lawyers assists clients in creating trusts for the long-term needs of surviving loved ones. We also assist clients in articulating the level of medical care to which they consent and who should make medical and financial decisions for them if they are unable. This occurs through powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. We also counsel individuals and families in establishing community property agreements to help a surviving spouse avoid probate.

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201 South 34th Street, Tacoma, WA 98418
| Phone: 253-272-2400

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