Law Office of John S. Palmer Attorney at Law

(425) 455-5513

Petition for Award for Family Support

Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 by John S. Palmer

A petition for an award for family support from the property of a decedent may be made whether or not probate proceedings have been commenced in the State of Washington. Depending on the circumstances, an award of support may be given to a surviving spouse, registered domestic partner, and/or children of the decedent. The statute establishes the amount for a basic support award, which may be increased or decreased depending on several factors.

Property awarded in response to the petition takes precedence over most debts existing at the time of death; therefore, this procedure may enable the petitioner to receive something from the estate in cases where most or all of the decedent’s property would otherwise be used to pay off creditors. (Secured debt, such as home mortgages, must still be paid, and the court will not make the award unless funeral expenses, expenses of last sickness, and expenses related to administration of the estate have all been paid or provided for).

It may be advisable to seek such an award, even if the petitioner is already a beneficiary or heir of the estate, to ensure the petitioner receives money to pay expenses while the estate is tied up in probate.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (425) 455-5513, toll free at (877) 455-5513, or

Local: (425) 455-5513
Toll Free: (877) 455-5513
Fax: (425) 455-5546
Law Office of John S. Palmer11911 NE 1st St, Ste. B204,Bellevue, WA 98005-3056