Estate Disputes

From time to time, disputes arise over wills, trusts, probate, and estate administration. If this happens, you may need to take legal action to get the dispute resolved (or to defend yourself if you are a party to a dispute). In Washington State, this can be achieved through TEDRA.

TEDRA (Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act) is a set of Washington laws and procedures available to sort out these disputes and find solutions.

The parties can try to resolve their dispute by working toward an agreement without the court’s involvement. Instead of a court battle, parties can get a resolution through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. If that does not work, then the parties can go to court.

Here are some examples of matters that are resolved through TEDRA:

  • disputes about whether or not a will is valid;
  • disputes about what the will says;
  • disputes about whether or not the person who made the will was competent to do so;
  • disputes about whether or not the person who made the will was improperly influenced by someone else when the will was made;
  • claims made by a spouse or child not mentioned in a will;
  • claims made against an estate by creditors;
  • disputes about the way an executor is settling the estate;
  • disputes over who owns property given as a gift; and
  • disputes over intestate succession (how property is distributed when there is no will).

Regardless of the dispute, the process will likely involve appearing in court, drafting and filing forms and other documents, legal research, negotiating with other parties, etc. An attorney can do these things for you and help you understand the legal issues and the applicable law.