Filing for special notice is an important initial step in determining whether a Personal Representative is following his or her fiduciary duties in managing the probate. Here is the Washington statute related to special notice:
Request for special notice of proceedings in probate — Prohibitions.
(1) At any time after the issuance of letters testamentary or of administration or certificate of qualification upon the estate of any decedent, any person interested in the estate as an heir, devisee, distributee, legatee or creditor whose claim has been duly served and filed, or the lawyer for the heir, devisee, distributee, legatee, or creditor may serve upon the personal representative or upon the lawyer for the personal representative, and file with the clerk of the court wherein the administration of the estate is pending, a written request stating that the person desires special notice of any or all of the following named matters, steps or proceedings in the administration of the estate, to wit:
(a) Filing of petitions for sales, leases, exchanges or mortgages of any property of the estate.
(b) Petitions for any order of solvency or for nonintervention powers.
(c) Filing of accounts.
(d) Filing of petitions for distribution.
(e) Petitions by the personal representative for family allowances and homesteads.
(f) The filing of a declaration of completion.
(g) The filing of the inventory.
(h) Notice of presentation of personal representative’s claim against the estate.
(i) Petition to continue a going business.
(j) Petition to borrow upon the general credit of the estate.
(k) Petition for judicial proceedings under chapter 11.96A RCW.
(l) Petition to reopen an estate.
(m) Intent to distribute estate assets, other than distributions in satisfaction of specific bequests or legacies of specific dollar amounts.
(n) Intent to pay attorney’s or personal representative’s fees.
The requests shall state the post office address of the heir, devisee, distributee, legatee or creditor, or his or her lawyer, and thereafter a brief notice of the filing of any of the petitions, accounts, declaration, inventory or claim, except petitions for sale of perishable property, or other tangible personal property which will incur expense or loss by keeping, shall be addressed to the heir, devisee, distributee, legatee or creditor, or his or her lawyer, at the post office address stated in the request, and deposited in the United States post office, with prepaid postage, at least ten days before the hearing of the petition, account or claim or of the proposed distribution or payment of fees; or personal service of the notices may be made on the heir, devisee, distributee, legatee, creditor, or lawyer, not less than five days before the hearing, and the personal service shall have the same effect as deposit in the post office, and proof of mailing or of personal service must be filed with the clerk before the hearing of the petition, account or claim or of the proposed distribution or payment of fees. If the notice has been regularly given, any distribution or payment of fees and any order or judgment, made in accord therewith is final and conclusive.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a request for special notice may not be made by a person, and any request for special notice previously made by a person becomes null and void, when:
(a) That person qualifies to request special notice solely by reason of being a specific legatee, all of the property that person is entitled to receive from the decedent’s estate has been distributed to that person, and that person’s bequest is not subject to any subsequent abatement for the payment of the decedent’s debts, expenses, or taxes;
(b) That person qualifies to request special notice solely by reason of being an heir of the decedent, none of the decedent’s property is subject to the laws of descent and distribution, the decedent’s will has been probated, and the time for contesting the probate of that will has expired; or
(c) That person qualifies to request special notice solely by reason of being a creditor of the decedent and that person has received all of the property that the person is entitled to receive from the decedent’s estate.
This post is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting with an attorney.