Probate is a statutory procedure that winds up a person's affairs after his or her death. Your Last Will and Testament can reduce probate costs for your estate in addition to the distribution of an estate.

A probate can be time consuming for those left behind. However, a Washington probate is not as onerous or expensive as probates in other states. The decedent's personal representative once appointed by the court must marshal the estate's assets and liabilities, obtain appraisals, prepare inventory, sell property, handle any necessary tax returns of the estate and the decedent's last return, and make distributions from the estate.

It is an emotional time when a loved one dies. The decedent's family and friends may feel burdened with the many decisions that need to be made after one's death. If there is no pre-death planning to guide your family and friends, such decisions become heavier burdens. But, careful pre-death planning will ease such burdens because your wishes will be memorialized in your estate planning documents.