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wilsondad17

Dying in a county other than the county in which a will is recorded

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I read that in WA State, if a person dies in a county other than the county in which thecwill was recorded, the state deems that intestate and will not follow the recorded will. That makes very little logical sense to me, so I am looking for confirmation or clarification on this law. 

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The text you cited is incorrect.  The statute defining venue of probate is:

RCW 11.96A.050

Venue in proceedings involving probate or trust matters.

(4) Venue for proceedings pertaining to the probate of wills, the administration and disposition of a decedent's property, including nonprobate assets, and any other matter not identified in subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section, must be in any county in the state of Washington that the petitioner selects. A party to a proceeding may request that venue be changed if the request is made within four months of the mailing of the notice of appointment and pendency of probate required by RCW11.28.237, and except for good cause shown, venue must be moved as follows:
(a) If the decedent was a resident of the state of Washington at the time of death, to the county of the decedent's residence; or

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1 hour ago, wilsondad17 said:

RetiredinVA, please see my post above where I show WA States requirement to have the will recorded in the county of death. I need clarification on that. 

 

What you posted was some interpretation of the law provided by some source you did not cite. Always be wary of statements of the law on a site that is not authoritative (e.g. government agency that enforces the law in question, court web site, etc) especially if it does not provide citations to the law to support the interpretation it gives.

 

The basic procedure for wills and probate in every state is that the will is lodged with the court after the testator (person who made the will) dies. In Washington, the requirement is that the custodian of the will must file the will with the court that has jurisdiction within 40 days of learning of the death of the testator. Revised Code of Washington (RCW) § 11.20.010

 

In Washington state, jurisdiction for probate rests with the superior courts. RCW § 11.96A.040. The superior court of any county has the power to hear the probate without respect to venue. Note that jurisdiction is the power to hear a matter, venue specifies which of the courts that have jurisdiction will ordinarily hear the matter. In Washington, the venue for probate is in any superior court that the petitioner (person opening the probate) selects. However, an interested party may, within four months, move to change the place (venue) of probate, and in that case the statute sets out an ordering rule for which venue would be chosen, with the first one being the county in which the decedent resided if the decedent was a resident of the state. RCW 11.96A.050. Also note that Washington law allows a Superior Court to refuse probate, and the court can insist that venue be moved to the county where the decedent was resident at the time he or she died. 

 

While in most cases the will is filed with the Superior Court after death, Washington law does provide (as a few other states do) an optional procedure for filing the will with the Superior Court prior to death. RCW § 11.12.265.

 

Therefore that summary you posted earlier is wrong. Washington law does not require the filing of the will in the place where the decedent died. Where the decedent died is irrelevant. Under Washington law, per the statutes I cited above, the will may be probated in any Superior Court in the state, but if that court is not in the county where the decedent was residing at his death, the case may be moved to that county by the Court on its own motion or by motion of an interested party. 

 

Note that generally what it comes down to is that probate is generally done in the superior court for the county where the decedent resided at death and thus it is best to simply start out there in the first place. 

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