Unless, within four months after the entry of the order adjudicating testacy or intestacy and heirship, and the mailing or service of the notice required in RCW 11.28.330
any heir, legatee or devisee of the decedent shall offer a later will for probate or contest an adjudication of testacy in the manner provided in this title for will contests, or offer a will of the decedent for probate following an adjudication of intestacy and heirship, or contesting the determination of heirship, an order adjudicating testacy or intestacy and heirship without appointing a personal representative to administer a decedent's estate shall, as to those persons by whom notice was waived or to whom said notice was mailed or on whom served, be deemed the equivalent of the entry of a final decree of distribution in accordance with the provisions of chapter 11.76
RCW for the purpose of:
(1) Establishing the decedent's will as his or her last will and testament and persons entitled to receive his or her estate thereunder; or
(2) Establishing the fact that the decedent died intestate, and those persons entitled to receive his or her estate as his or her heirs at law.
The right of an heir, legatee, or devisee to receive the assets of a decedent shall, to the extent otherwise provided by this title, be subject to the prior rights of the decedent's creditors and of any persons entitled to a homestead award or award in lieu of homestead or family allowance, and nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to alter or diminish such prior rights, or to prohibit any person for good cause shown, from obtaining the appointment of a personal representative to administer the estate of the decedent after the entry of an order adjudicating testacy or intestacy and heirship. However, if the petition for letters testamentary or of administration shall be filed more than four months after the date of the adjudication of testacy or of intestacy and heirship, the issuance of such letters shall not affect the finality of said adjudications.
Four months after providing all notices as required in RCW 11.28.330
, any person paying, delivering, transferring, or issuing property to the person entitled thereto under an adjudication of testacy or intestacy and heirship that is deemed the equivalent of a final decree of distribution as set forth in this section is discharged and released to the same extent as if such person has dealt with a personal representative of the decedent.
Application, effective date—Severability—1977 ex.s. c 234:
See notes following RCW 11.20.020
Application, construction—Severability—Effective date—1974 ex.s. c 117:
See RCW 11.02.080
and notes following.