King County Probates (2024)

Verified Petition (PDF) (Word). The Petition is the document that describes your case to the court. To create a "verified" Petition, you sign a declaration at the end swearing under penalty of perjury that everything in the Petition is correct. The Petition should contain facts that give the court jurisdiction over the matter, such as who you are, when the decedent died, whether there was a will, whether the estate is solvent, who are the heirs, and what you are asking for. If there is no will, you'll need a different Petition for starting a probate without a will (PDF) (Word). For the process of starting a probate without a will, visit the No Will page.

Will. If you have an original will (and codicil, if applicable), the commissioner will need to see this document in person. Any will you present must be an original and must include an affidavit from the people who witnessed the execution of the will, which usually appears at the end of the will as an attachment. This makes a will "self-proving," which is very important.If a will is not self-proving, the witnesses must either (1) appear for the hearing to testify regarding the execution of the will or (2) sign a Declaration of Witness to Will (see below). If all you have is a copy of the will, the process for admitting the copy is more complicated, and you should see the page on Admitting Copy of Will to Probate.

Declaration of Witness to Will (PDF)(Word). To admit a will to probate, it must be self-proving, meaning that it must have a declaration or affidavit signed by each witness describing the circ*mstances surrounding the signing of the will. Most wills have this "attestation" page or provision at the end of the will. If your will does not, you need to get a Declaration from the two witnesses in order to admit the will to probate.

Order Appointing Probate Guardian ad Litem (PDF) (Word). For an estate in which one of the heirs or beneficiaries is under the age of 18 or otherwise incapacitated, the Ex Parte Commissioner will appoint a probate guardian ad litem (GAL) to look after the interests of that minor/incapacitated heir or beneficiary. The GAL is normally an attorney who has knowledge of probate law who the court trusts to ensure that the incapacitated person receives what he or she is entitled to. The court will not appoint the parent of the child as the GAL. For more information on this process, visit the page on minor beneficiaries.

Order Appointing Limited Probate Guardian ad Litem (PDF) (Word). For certain estates, the appointment of a full probate guardian ad litem may seem unnecessary. This can be the case when the estate is small, or when a will names a minor as a beneficiary, but the minor’s share of the estate is passing to a trust. In such cases, the court has an order it uses to appoint a probate guardian ad litem with limited powers to investigate certain narrow issues.

Fiduciary Bond.If you file a probate without a will, the Ex Parte Commissioner will likely require you to post a bond before you can receive Letters Testamentary from the court clerk. A bond is a type of insurance policy that protects beneficiaries, creditors and others parties interested in the estate from you stealing from the estate or otherwise mismanaging it. You will need to find a surety company who will issue this fiduciary bond to you. Once the bond is received, you'll need to return to Ex Parte to have the Commissioner sign the bond before obtaining the Letters Testamentary from the court clerk. Companies that issue such bonds can be found by googling "fiduciary bond for probates in Seattle."

Ex Parte Notice of Court Date. This form, one for Seattleand another for Kent, is for situations where you need to schedule a hearing on the Ex Parte calendar, such as if you need to admit a copy of a will to probate or schedule a hearing on your request for nonintervention powers.This form can be found on the King County Clerk’s forms page. Look for the form called “Notice of Court Date - Ex Parte.”

Declaration of Mailing of Hearing Notice(PDF)(Word).If you are forced to schedule a hearing, the court will need to ensure that proper notice is provided to all parties requiring notice. You should file the Declaration of Mailing with the court clerk before the scheduled hearing, but also have a copy available for review by the Ex Parte Commissioner. Do not forget to write in the city where you signed the Declaration and the date you signed it.

Notice Re Probate Case (PDF) (Word). Currently, the King County Clerk will provide you a document called a Notice Re Probate Case when you file a new probate. Some attorneys bring this document with them and stamp it with the case number when they file a new probate, but currently you are not required to bring your own with you. This document describes the importance of administering a probate as quickly as possible. It also warns that if your probate will last longer than twelve months, you will need to provide the Court and each party a Statement of Case Status (see below under Closing Documents). The Notice Re Probate Case should be mailed to each heir and beneficiary with the Notice of Appointment.

King County Probates (2024)
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