Ep. 3: What Is In a TEDRA Petition – Inheritance Disputes & Estate Litigation | WA TEDRA Attorney

Ep. 3: What Is In a TEDRA Petition? This is the third video in my Washington TEDRA Attorney video series. Today's video focuses on what goes in to a TEDRA Petition, and how a TEDRA Petition differs from a standard complaint. The primary item that I try to convey throughout this video is that a TEDRA Petition is much more complicated than a standard initial pleading. Not only do you set forth your facts and allegations within a TEDRA Petition, but you also must prepare for argument at the initial hearing. Basically, while this video does help to inform you as to what is in a TEDRA Petition, i...
Read More

Can I Be the Personal Representative to an Estate?

Can I Be the Personal Representative to an Estate? People often wonder who should act as the Personal Representative to an Estate.  What are the qualifications for being a Personal Representative?  Is there a priority as to whom the Court would prefer to act as the Personal Representative?  What if I do not want to act as a Personal Representative, but the will has already appointed me?  These are all questions I regularly receive when new clients come to my office seeking assistance with probate. So who does the Court prefer to act as a Personal Representative? Generally speaking, the Cour...
Read More

Is There a Faster Way to Inherit an Estate?

Is There a Faster Way to Inherit an Estate? One of the biggest concerns I usually hear from clients building an estate plan is, “how long will it take for my loved ones to receive my estate?”  While Washington has a wonderfully constructed probate system, it can still be tedious and time consuming in its distribution of estate assets.  In instances where you would want at least part of your estate to immediately be available to your beneficiaries, you will want to discuss with your attorney some “nonprobate” methods of estate conveyance. From the sounds of it, “nonprobate” means that it does...
Read More

If There’s No Will, Where Does The Money Go?

If There’s No Will, Where Does The Money Go? Nothing is more terrifying than uncertainty, and that is exactly what people experience when there is no estate plan in place.  I regularly have potential clients come in to my office worried that they will not be receiving their inheritance because their loved one had not made a will.  Luckily, Washington law provides for distribution of assets when no estate plan has been provided; unfortunately, it often results in assets being transferred to unintended individuals or otherwise provide some other unwanted consequence. So wait, your telling me t...
Read More

The Executor Won’t Talk To Me!

The Executor Won’t Talk To Me! You would be shocked to learn how many clients come in to my office simply because a Personal Representative (Executor) in a probate matter fails to communicate with them.  I have said it before, and I will say it again, when it comes to probate matters and avoiding litigation, transparency can be the Executor’s best friend!  Without transparency, the heirs and beneficiaries are left in the dark as to what is going on with their inheritance, and they begin to worry about what the Executor might be doing with all those assets. Well shouldn’t the Executor be bend...
Read More

Inheritance Disputes & Estate Litigation | WA TEDRA Attorney – Ep. 2: How Do I Bring a TEDRA Petition?

Ep. 2: How Do I Bring a TEDRA Petition? This is the second video in my Washington TEDRA Attorney video series. Today's video focuses on what a potential client should do if they think they might have an estate litigation issue that falls under TEDRA. This is a very broad overview of what the first steps are in seeking out counsel, meeting with them, and determining if you have a case. The number one message that I try to convey in this video is, "if you have a potential estate litigation matter in Washington, you really want to speak with an attorney that focuses on TEDRA law." If you have ...
Read More

Can I Get Rid of a Lousy Trustee?

Can I Get Rid of a Lousy Trustee? You would not believe how many calls I get each week from potential clients saying that their trustee is mishandling their trust.  The end question from the potential client is always the same, “Can I get rid of this lousy trustee?” There are primarily three (3) mechanisms through which a trustee can be removed from a trust: (1) if the trust document itself provides a manner of removal, (2) if the trustee has violated his fiduciary duties and/or statutory requirements, and (3) if the trustee agrees to resign as trustee.  Of course, the first item I always ...
Read More

An Estate Plan For My Horses

An Estate Plan For My Horses A lot of my clients are always fascinated to learn that I have a fair amount of experience in the equine industry; yes, that technically makes me a horse lawyer. For a few years I worked as in-house counsel for several companies; one of which was an equine breeding, training, and showing organization in the sport of hunters and jumpers.  What this means is that I can tell you the details and intricacies of a live-foal guarantee, I know how many “doses” are standard in the sale of stallion breeding material, and I can also tell you the best way to create an estate...
Read More

Wait!? You Mean I Don’t Pay the Probate Attorney?

Wait!? You Mean I Don’t Pay the Probate Attorney? Clients are shocked when I tell them they don’t have to pay me for the probate themselves.  Everyone seems to think that executors or family members of an estate are simply stuck floating the bill for the attorney.  Well, in many states, including Washington, they have structured the probate statutes in such a way that the estate itself will pay for the probate attorney; not the executor and/or family! So if the estate pays for your attorney’s fees, then I don’t have to pay you a dime? For the most part, that is true.  However, when a client...
Read More

Inheritance Disputes & Estate Litigation | WA TEDRA Attorney – Ep. 1: What is TEDRA?

Episode 1: What is TEDRA? This is the first episode of a series of videos discussing the legal aspects of Inheritance Disputes and Estate Litigation in Washington State; or, as it is more commonly known in Washington, TEDRA Litigation. This first episode is simply an introduction as to what TEDRA is and when it might apply in certain situations regarding estate administration and/or inheritance disputes. If you have any questions regarding this episode, or if you would like for me to tackle specific issues in future episodes, please be sure to leave a comment in the comment section. Thank y...
Read More