Why is probate actually required?

There are many reasons for probate, but some of the most important are:

  • Transferring the legal title/ownership of the decedent’s property and assets to the heirs and/or beneficiaries. generally, if there is no property to transfer, there is usually no need for probate.
  • The collection of any taxes due to various taxing authorities that may be owed by the decedent or his/her estate at the time of death or taxes that become due when a property is transferred.
  • As stated above, probate also provides a legally mandated deadline for creditors to file claims against the estate. This prevents old or unpaid creditors from future claims against the heirs or beneficiaries.
  • If the deceased owned real estate in his own name, no one could properly accept title to that property nor would a bank give a mortgage to a new buyer mortgage unless the estate went through probate and a “clear title” could be given to the new buyer.
  • Generally, no one would enter into any other transactions involving the deceased’s property until the will has been filed for probate and someone has been legally appointed to act for the estate.
  • Finally, it provides a legal method for the actual physical distribution of the remainder of the estate’s property to the heirs and beneficiaries.
Ryan Garrison

I have been purchasing properties in Western Washington since 2003. My wife is from Olympia originally. We have three beautiful kiddos and a dog \"Lucky\". I enjoy helping my clients solve problems related to unwanted properties. I am also a Licensed Real Estate agent in the state of Washington.

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