Have a copy of a signed will, don't know where original is. What are steps for the Executor to file & be appointed in Wash State

Asked over 1 year ago - Snohomish, WA

The lawyer that prepared the will sent us a copy of the signed will, but said he did not have the original. Executor needs to get access to bank account to pay bills.

Additional information

Deceased is divorced and shares house with ex-wife. House will be put on the market. Approximate value is $300,000 - $350,000.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Kevin Terry Steinacker

    Contributor Level 11

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Note that the small estate procedure only works if there is no real estate. If the small estate procedure is not an option, try to find an original copy of the will. If you've gone through the decedent's files and can't find one, you will either need to proceed under the laws of intestacy or research the procedure to probate a copy of a lost will. Either one will require filing a petition with the court and asking to be appointed the representative of the estate. Only then will you have access to bank accounts.

    I am not your attorney. My response is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
  2. Matthew Erik Johnson

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Depends on the size of the estate. You can file a small estate affidavit if the estate is under $100,000. Or you need to open a standard probate by filing the proper case form, requesting the court to accept a copy, and providing notice to interested parties you wish to nominate yourself executor.

    Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale... more
  3. Kelly Scott Davis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No person nominated as executor under a Will has authority to access bank accounts until they are appointed as executor by the court. Where you go with a short form or a formal probate is a question that can be addressed with a probate attorney who can discuss with you the facts of the case and how to prove that a lost or missing Will is the Last Will.

  4. Arthur Colby Parks

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is a process to seek judgment on a lost will and to admit the signed copy you have. You should contact an experienced probate attorney for counsel.

    Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

31,463 answers this week

3,158 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

31,463 answers this week

3,158 attorneys answering