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          Estate Administrator

Estate Administrator

Whether a Decedent executed a Will, Trust, or in some cases nothing at all,
the Decedent’s estate must be administered to make sure all assets have
been identified & gathered, all estate debts have been paid,
and the remainder of the estate is distributed as required by the 
Will, Trust, or Washington State law.

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An Estate Administer either by an Executor appointed in the Last Will and Testament, or by an Administrator appointed by the court if the deceased individual had no Will. It is the Executor’s responsibility to ensure that the Will’s administration is consistent with the deceased individual’s intent and is in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Washington. The Executor or Administrator ensures that debts of the estate are paid, and assets are distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate.
A trust is administered by a Trustee appointed under the trust and has many of the same duties and responsibilities as Executor/Administrator.


      When there is a Will, the maker of the will typically will names an executor to manage the administration of his/her estate, this person must be officially appointed by the court before beginning their duties. When there is no Will, the Will does not name an executor or the named executor does not accept the nomination, the court will appoint an estate administrator, sometimes called a personal representative, to manage estate administration.


      Under Washington state laws, the administrator must provide notice of his appointment or proposed appointment to persons who have an interest in the decedent’s estate. This includes beneficiaries named in the Will and heirs as determined by state statutes. Washington State law requires the administrator to provide notice of their appointment to known creditors of the estate.

Estate Assets

        Once the estate is opened and the required notifications have been provided to creditors (mainly) through newspaper publications.  Creditors may submit claims against the estate. The administrator gathers all estate assets and holds them until the estate is closed. The administrator has to manage the decedent’s investments or other assets until they are sold or distributed. The court will require the administrator to inventory the assets and file that inventory with the court. If needed, the administrator has the ability to hire professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, and appraisers, at the expense of the estate.
         Moreover, the administrator may have to sell estate assets to satisfy creditors; the remaining estate assets will be distributed after creditors are paid. If there is no Will, the estate Will be distributed according to Washington state intestacy laws. If there is a valid Will, the estate Will is distributed to the beneficiaries named in the Will. The administrator must submit a final accounting to the court either before or after the remaining assets are distributed.

Fiduciary Duty

An estate administrator has a “fiduciary duty” to the estate. This is the duty to act with good faith, diligence, and honesty on behalf of the estate, including an obligation to the estate’s heirs to properly preserve the assets of the estate, pay the legitimate debts of the decedent, pay taxes due and distribute assets to the appropriate heirs.

Fees: Our fees are generally based on an hourly fee schedule depending on the level of service and the needs of the client. In some cases, our fees are based on a percentage of the assets under management. Please contact us to discuss the appropriate fee arrangement that will work for you or your family.

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