Probate and Wills
Effective Monday, October 5, 2020 | Superior Court Clerk's Office Public counters are open for limited hours as follows: Monday - Friday from 9:00am - 11:00am and 1:00pm - 3:00pm.
The Clerk's Office continues to provide online, phone and mail-in filing services Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays. Clerk modified services are detailed here.
The Clerk’s Office offers a will repository service which allows for the filing of an original will with the court, under seal, before the death of a testator.
How to file your Will into the Will Repository
Complete a Will Repository Cover Sheet, bring the completed sheet and the original will into the Superior Court Clerk’s Office. The fee to file a Will into the repository is $20. If you add information, such as a Codicil, you must pay another $20 fee.
There is no fee to remove your will from the Repository, but you will need to provide proper identification to verify that you are the testator. If you deposit a new Will later, you must pay another $20 fee.
Pursuant to Snohomish County Local Court Rule 98.05, no one can remove or view your will unless they have a legally valid reason and the court approves. The Clerk's Office keeps track of all deposited Wills, anyone can come in and ask clerk staff to search the system and see if a Will has been filed. However, any other person, such as family member, spouse, attorney or Guardian, would need to get a court order to withdraw or view the original Will. They would have to motion the court and prove that their reason for requesting removal of the Will is valid.
You however, may add a new Will or remove your Will at any time upon showing of proper identification.
When you die your Will may become a public record. Anyone with a certified copy of your death certificate can ask the court to unseal your will.
Leaving a Will in the Will Repository does not make it a legal Will or valid. To learn if your Will is valid, talk to a lawyer. You are not required to leave your Will in the Will Repository.
After someone’s death, their money and property (estate) must be distributed to their heirs. When supervised by the courts, this process is called a Probate. Probate is not always necessary, but in some situations it may be required.
Any person who has the custody or control of an original Will after the testator has died must file the Will within 40 days at the Clerk’s Office of the Superior Court of the resident’s county at death. The fee to file a Will is $20. Wills that are filed after the death of a testator are public record. If a Probate case is opened at the time, the full filing fee of $240 must be charged.
How do I know if I need to file a Probate
Below are some local resources that provide information on Probates, where to get the forms required to file a Probate, and other information on navigating this process with the courts. These resources do not take the place of an attorney. Our office does not provide the forms or instructions on how to file a Probate.