Bellingham Probate Lawyer, Estate, and Trust Administration

Some small estates may be administered quickly, without probate, for a flat fee. Larger estates may require a carefully planned probate. We navigate complex probates to avoid disputes with creditors or heirs. We also litigate contested estates, trusts, and wills. Whether your matter is simple or complex, we are ready to put our skills to work for you.

Transparency goes a long way toward avoiding trust and estate disputes. A trustee is a fiduciary. The personal representative for an estate is also a fiduciary. This means the they owe duties (including loyalty and care) to all the beneficiaries. Usually, one of those duties is the duty to share information about the trust or estate.

Often, failing to share information on a regular basis, or failing to provide all the necessary information leads to distrust. That is when people hire lawyers. A trustee can also lessen or avoid liability by providing reports compliant with RCW 11.96A.070 and RCW 11.96A.110. Contact us to talk about your duties as trustee or personal representative, and learn ways that you may minimize your exposure to liability or litigation.

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Probate & Small Estate Affidavits

Probate is a legal process designed to pay creditors who submit valid claims, cut off other creditors’ claims, and transfer ownership to heirs and legatees. Probate does not have to be expensive or complicated. A small estate (under $100,000 with no real estate, and few assets) may qualify for a small estate affidavit, which may be processed without a probate for a small flat fee. Simple probates may also be processed for a flat legal fee. Every estate is different, though. Larger estates and estates with complexities will cost more, and will likely be processed on an hourly basis.

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Creditors’ Claims

We also represent creditors seeking to get their creditors’ claims paid. Deadlines for filing creditors’ claims vary, including 30 days, 4 months and two years. If a deadline is missed, the claim is barred, and will not be honored. We also represent creditors of heirs. A lien against an heirs’ inheritance can intercept the money before it disappears. If you have a creditor’s claim against an estate, or an heir, call us to see how we can help.

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