If a member of your family has recently died, it’s very common to wonder what will happen to their estate. Many families in Washington might wonder whether or not the estate will have to go through probate before the executor or administrator can distribute assets to family members and heirs.

Although many people view probate as a process to avoid, going through probate can actually benefit contested or complex estates. As a general rule, estates for someone who lived in Washington that have certain qualifying assets will typically have to go through probate regardless of the intentions of the deceased party or their family members.

Any estate with real estate is going through probate court

People can hold real estate in a number of ways. The family home may be available property very clearly allocated to a spouse in the last well or estate plan. However, people can also leave behind other real estate holdings, including cabins, unimproved land or even rental properties that generate profit.

Whether someone owns their own home or a few acres of hunting land, any real estate holdings will necessitate probate court under Washington law.

Estates worth more than $100,000 must go through probate

Real estate holdings require probate because they are complex and often subject to challenges or contention among family members during estate administration. However, even simple assets like bank accounts or life insurance benefits that have a total value of $100,000 or more will necessitate probate court for the estate.

This way, estates with either complex assets or substantial value to them go through probate, reducing the risk of issues during the estate administration or problems with fraud.