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Small Estate Affidavit > Is Probate Required?

Washington law:

  • Does not require probate, but

  • Does require any Will to be filed with the Court within at most 40 days of death.


Is Probate Required by Washington Law?

Note:  "Titled in his or her own name" means that the property is a "probate asset" and not a "non-probate asset," which passes "outside of probate," without Court involvement.  Typical nonprobate assets are assets:


  1. If Decedent died with a Will, you will need to file it with the Court promptly.

  2. If Decedent died owning in his or her own name either real property of whatever value or personal property whose value exceeds $100,000 as of Decedent's date of death, you will likely need a probate to clear title to that property (ie, remove the Decedent's name from its title and replace it with the names of his/her heirs or beneficiaries).

  3. If, however, you have discovered that Decedent died owning:

    1. No real property titled in his/her own name &

    2. Personal property titled in his/her name whose value does not exceed $100,000 ...

    Then you should be able to transfer its title without a probate & Court involvement.


  1. First, see if the asset qualifies for a specific exception; if not,

  2. Use a Small Estate Affidavit for its transfer.

Probate Asset Exceptions



Instructions & Forms

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