Under Washington law, “TEDRA” refers to the Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act. The statute is set forth in Chapter 11.96A of the Revised Code of Washington. The law sets forth the procedural framework with regards to resolving disputes that arise during the probate of an estate.
What is a TEDRA Petition?
A TEDRA petition is essentially a claim that you bring before the court that is overseeing the probate of an estate. You bring a petition in order to inform the court of a dispute or concern with regards to a probate matter. An example of a dispute or concern is that a personal representative (“PR”) is taking estate assets or is not distributing assets in accordance with the language of a will. A petitioner bringing a TEDRA petition asks the court for some type of relief. In our example above, a relief would be to remove the PR and appoint an alternate PR.
Once you file a petition with the court, the other interested parties in the probate proceeding are given notice of the petition. The parties can then file an answer or response to the petition. The response usually includes reasons why a court should not grant or impose a petitioner’s suggested relief.
How is a TEDRA Petition Resolved?
A TEDRA petition is usually resolved in one of four different ways. These include by:
- A hearing – If there are no disputed facts, a judge will hold a hearing and rule on any issues of law raised in the petition.
- A trial – If there are disputed facts, a judge will typically hold a bench trial where the parties present their respective cases before the judge and the judge rules on any issues raised after deciding on the pertinent facts.
- Mediation – Sometimes all of the parties involved in the petition are brought before a mediator, and the mediator tries to get the parties to resolve the dispute via a signed agreement.
- Arbitration – The interested parties appear before an arbitrator (as opposed to a mediator) and the arbitrator rules on certain issues of fact and law.
Contact The McWilliams Law Group for Help
In particular, our firm provides legal assistance with the following:
- Resolving estate disputes (including filing TEDRA petitions and representing parties in a TEDRA dispute)
- Will drafting, execution and review
- Living Trusts
- Advance healthcare directives (living Wills)
- Powers of attorney
- Estate and gift tax issues
- Guardianships and conservatorships
- Choosing the appropriate executor and/or trustee
The skilled attorneys at our firm can help thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship, and supporting philanthropic causes. Contact us now and let us help protect your personal security, family, and legacy.