What You Need to Know About TEDRA Matters in Washington

Between a trustee’s obligations, maintenance of trust assets, distribution of estate assets, Will validation, and countless other matters having to do with a decedent’s estate, there are plenty of opportunities for heirs and beneficiaries to begin feuding. After all, money issues is one of the most common precursors to disagreements. 

Washington state has a unique procedure to settle estate-related disputes. The Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act (TEDRA Act) lays out the process for resolving disputes having to do with trusts and estates; the procedures are designed to keep these matters out of court and engender an efficient dispute resolution process. 

How Does the TEDRA Process Work?

It is possible to come to an agreement before filing what’s called a “TEDRA petition.” Your attorney will be able to help you come to a resolution outside of the formal TEDRA procedures. However, you might need to file a petition with the court, which should include details of your claim and supporting documentation. After receiving the Note for Motion Docket, you must serve the petition and summons to interested parties at least 20 days before the initial hearing. These interested parties may respond up to five days before the initial hearing. If you, the original petitioner, needs to respond to the response, you may do so up to two days before the initial hearing. 

Mediation and Arbitration

Many people involved in estate disputes in Washington choose to go to mediation or arbitration before jumping to litigation. These two alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods are often less expensive and more time-efficient than going to court. Mediation involves a neutral third party (mediator) working with both parties in an attempt to come to a mutually beneficial agreement on the dispute. If mediation does not work, you have the option of petitioning for arbitration. Arbitration has some similarities with mediation, but the arbitrator actually has the authority to issue a ruling, which may be appealed in court. 

No matter how you and the other parties come to an agreement, it may be considered legally binding as long as it is signed. When resolving other types of civil disputes, there are rigid court procedures that must be followed. For families already grieving the loss of a loved one, there is, fortunately, an expedited procedure for resolving estate disputes.

Conclusion

The last thing you want to be dealing with after the death of a family member is a complex or stressful legal process. Even though TEDRA matters involve an expedited procedure, it is still wise to retain legal counsel as you settle disputes involving your family member’s estate. McMahon Law Group has handled plenty of these cases, and we would be honored to help you with yours. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment.

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McMahon Law Group

Legal issues of any type can be a frightening and overwhelming experience, and certainly something you don’t want to face alone. Attorney Jacque McMahon and the McMahon Law Group will work closely with you to ensure you not only get the best legal representation possible, but that you are well-informed throughout the process. If you are facing legal issues, please contact us to discuss your situation and get the help you need.

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