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Richard Wills

Richard Wills’s Answers

273 total


  • As executor of an estate, can I use personal representative deed to transfer property to my name?

    The property is in the name of the deceased, and we (the other beneficiary) have agreed the this portion of the estate (real property) should be transfered to me. In transfering the property am I the grantor and the grantee? Is this considered a...

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You as the Personal Representative of the estate are the Grantor, & you individually are the Grantee.

    The transfer is exempt from the REET due to inheritance.

    Make sure to use a PR's Deed & not a Statutory Warranty Deed.

    See question 
  • Is it absolutely necessary to set up an estate account?

    I am the executor for my late uncle per his request in his will. Only myself and his niece are named in the will, and we share equally. The estate value is prox $30,000, most of which came from the sale of his mobile home, which I recently sold....

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Dear Bellevue,

    Absolutely necessary? No --- but in my opinion, you're playiing with fire not to do so.

    The point is to have a clearly defined boundary between your individual actions & funds & the actions that you take & the funds you receive & pay in your fiduciary capacity on behalf of the Decedent. Simply put, those two sets of funds should never be mixed --- "commingled." Practically, speaking, the way to isolate them is for you to keep your own funds in your own account, to create another account for the Decedent's funds, income & expense, & to use that account solely for the Decedent & your actions involving his or her estate.

    What you don't want to happen is wind up at the end with the other heir, no matter how well meaning & trusting now, questioning you & your actions re the Decedent. One way to take care of yourself in this regard is to scrupulously isolate the Decedent's funds from your own.

    Remember the old Fram oil filter ad: "You can pay me now or pay me later."? I would encourage you to pay yourself now by creating & using a separate account for the Decedent as opposed to possibly having to pay an attorney later to defend you against a charge of breach of fiduciairy duty & self-dealing.

    Sincerely,
    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www.washington-probate.com

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  • How do I contest my fathers Will

    My dad died earlier this month. I was told that his estate would be shared equally between my brother & me but after my brother died in 08 I found out that my aunt had taken my dad to her attorney and had him change his will leaving 1/3 of his est...

    Richard’s Answer

    Dear Edna,

    You contest a Will by filing a Will contest in the Decedent's probate proceeding within four months of the date of the Will's admission to probate.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www.washington-probate.com

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  • Is there a statute of limitations for claiming an inheritance in WA?

    Nearly ten years ago, a family member died, leaving half of their estate to me. I accompanied the spouse to a meeting that discussed the will, but there was no official "reading." The attorney mentioned a "pass-through trust" and nothing else wa...

    Richard’s Answer

    Dear Spokane,

    If the Decedent's assets are subject to probate & no probate was begun, I know of nothing preventing you from opening a probate for the Decedent's estate & claiming what the Decedent appears to have left you.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www.washington-probate.com

    See question 
  • Is beneficiary/heir entitled to HUD statement

    Estate home being sold by executor. Executor will not provide any information. When the home sells is the beneficiary/heir entitled to a copy of the HUD closing statement ?

    Richard’s Answer

    Dear Wenatchee,

    Here, I'm assuming that the PR has been granted Nonintervention Powers.

    I don't think so immediately, but you should be able to obtain a copy of the HUD Statement when the PR attempts to close the probate, by timely requesting the Court to order the PR to prepare & file an accounting. The accounting should contain it as one of its Exhibits.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www.washington-probate.com

    See question 
  • I would like to know what year the 'dead mans clause' became into law in wash st?

    I was recently evicted from my home that was given to me by my Grandmother. I had lived in that home for almost fifty years. My Grandmother gave me that home in 1986 and I am wondering when this law become effective? Thank you for your time.

    Richard’s Answer

    Dear Selah,

    See RCW 5.60.030; Estate of Shaughnessy, 97 Wn.2d 652 (1982); Estate of Tate, 32 Wn.2d 252 (1948).

    Sincerely,

    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    washington-probate.com

    See question 
  • What is the best way to file perjury charges in a probate matter? By filing a complaint with the Probate judge, or by going to

    the D.A.? Sister-in-law submitted a Declaration to the court under penalty of perjury, which contained eight false statements.

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Dear Spokane,

    Probate is in civil (not criminal) Court, so the issue is not so much that somebody may have perjured themselves as it is that incorrect information may have been submitted to the Court. If you believe the incorrect information is material --- important --- then I'd suggest filing a Declaration with the Court providing what you believe to be the correct information.

    If you believe the Court took action based on the incorrect information, you may wish to move the Court to void any Order it made based on that incorrect information.

    Sincerely,
    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www,washington-probate.com

    See question 
  • In our initial probate hearing, the judge ordered my husband, personal rep, to post bond even though the will waived it. How do

    we approximate the size of the bond? All decedents assets were drained by his daughter during his care, and she then went behind our back and auctioned off his tools. The check for that was $14,000. We are going to file a complaint of "Financial E...

    Richard’s Answer

    Dear Yakima,

    I've opened over 1,000 probates, & I've never seen one yet where the Court requires a Bond & fails to specify its amount, typically $10,000 but they can go a lot more.

    If the Court truly ordered the PR to post a Bond & failed to specify its amount, you'll need to move the Court to specify its amount.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www.washington-probate.com

    See question 
  • What paper work do I need to file probate?

    I was married for over 50 years and after my wife passed away I am told that in order to claim the life insurance policy I will have to file through probate court. I've not been able to find an attorney that will take the case for less than $3000...

    Richard’s Answer

    Dear Seattle,

    I advertise to open & close a basic, simple, problem-free probate for $995 plus $291 in Court costs, for a total of $1,286. If that doesn't work for you, please see my self-help website, www.wa-probate.com I've opened some 1,000 probates in the last five years & would be pleased to assist you with yours.

    BTW, it should make no difference with you being in Whatcom County. I have probate clients in or from every state & in every continent except Antartica.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www.washington-probate.com

    See question 
  • Life Insurance and Pension - Deceased Mom

    My Mom unexpectedly passed away last week. My sister and I have been notified by her employer that she has a (very small) life insurance policy and that we are also the beneficieries of her retirement pension. Both of us are the executor's of ...

    Richard’s Answer

    Dear Seattle,

    My condolences for the loss of your mother.

    Life insurance, IRA account, & pension plan proceeds paid as a result of their owner's death to beneficiaries named in the relevant contract are "nonprobate" assets to be paid to those named beneficiaries "outside of probate" & are not subject to Decedent's debts. If yoour mother designated you, your sister, or both of you as her named Bfs, then the proceeds should be paid directly to you, her, or both, & the proceeds are free from any obligation to pay your mother's debts.

    If, however, there is no effective named beneficiary, they are paid according to the default provisions of the relevant contract, typically, to Decedent's estate, & if paid to the estate, they become subject to Decedent's debts.

    "What money pays off Decedent's debts?" is the cash or other property that is subject to probate, for example, property, such as a car or bank account, held in the Decedent's name alone & for which there is no named beneficiary. If there are no such funds or other property, Decedent's creditors don't get paid, or if insufficient funds, they get paid ratably, so many cents on the dollar.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Wills, WSBA 19720
    www.washington-probate.com

    See question