The death of a loved is never a simple matter. As devastating as your loss might be, one thing that helps many people in their grief is the knowledge that the deceased left something behind to help family and friends move on in life. This is generally done either by the deceased leaving behind a will, a trust, or sometimes simply just by relying on the laws of descent and distribution. However, regardless of how the deceased wanted their estate to be distributed, the likelihood is that in order for the assets to be transferred, you will need to file a probate proceeding with the Court.
Nowakowski Legal PLLC is experienced in probate actions and in helping personal representatives (a.k.a. executors) to get appointed, locate and collect assets, and in administering the estate. If you would like to act as your loved ones personal representative, or if you need assistance in determining how to proceed with the administration of an estate, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Additionally, in the unfortunate event that a dispute arises regarding the estate, Nowakowski Legal PLLC is experienced in trust and estate dispute litigation. Our goal is to make sure that inheritance finds its way to its rightful heir.
Please see below how we can help you with both your Probate Administration and/or Estate Litigation needs:
The probate administrative process is the legal method in which a personal representative, often called the executor, deals with the courts, taxing authorities, banks, creditors, appraisers and, in many cases, lawyers who challenge the terms of the will on behalf of one or more of the testator’s disaffected relatives. The personal representative's goal is to dispose of the estate in a manner that best fulfills the testator’s intent: paying the testator’s taxes and lawful debts, making certain that bequests are paid according to law, disposing of real or personal property, establishing trust funds for specific purposes, and preserving the estate’s value to the greatest possible degree.
The personal representative is tasked with probating an estate in accordance with the testators wishes and design, notifying all applicable entities of the estate distribution, determining the assets of the estate, and distributing the estate in accordance with the wishes of the testator and all applicable law. If no will is available, then the administrator is tasked with handling the affairs of the estate in accordance with state and federal law.
Nowakowski Legal PLLC is experienced in probate matters and is available to assist you in administering an estate.
Estate and Trust Litigation
In some unfortunate situations, a dispute arises as to the validity of a will, trust, or the manner in which a "personal representative" is administrating an estate. Depending on the situation, a claim may need to be brought in the probate, or through a separate but ancillary proceeding.
Many disputes arising from a will, trust, or probate matter would fall under TEDRA guidelines in Washington State - The Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act. Unlike other types of civil litigation, this statute puts estate litigation on an expedited path toward resolution. While this does provide parties with a quicker resolution, it also means that an attorney is required that both understands TEDRA proceedings, and who is a competent litigator.
Nowakowski Legal PLLC is experienced in handling trust and estate disputes, is knowledgeable about TEDRA procedures, and regularly handles litigated matters. Our office would be pleased to assist you in making sure that you receive the inheritance your loved one meant for you to have.