Michael D. Whipple

Michael D. Whipple

The Whipple Law Group, PLLC
  • Probate, Elder Law, Estate Planning...
  • Idaho, Washington
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Summary

Providing a wide range of quality legal services with a personal commitment to each client. We specialize in: Business Law Civil Rights Law Consumer Protection Law Estate Planning Land Use Law Landlord / Tenant Law Legal Guardianship Law Personal Injury Probate Water Rights Elder Law At the Whipple Law Group, PLLC in Spokane, Washington we seek to inform and educate our clients so that they, in turn, may make informed decisions with regard to their case. We reduce the mystery and assist our clients in their navigation of the legal system. Personalized attention and ‘going the extra mile’ has and will continue to remain hallmarks of the Whipple Law Group, PLLC, approach to client relationship and services

Practice Areas
  • Probate
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Business Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Civil Rights
  • Environmental Law
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Idaho
Washington
9th Circuit
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Education
Gonzaga University School of Law
J.D. (2010) | Law
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Honors: Graduated Cum Laude University Merit Award Scholarship Recipient Negotiation Competition Finalist 3 CALI Excellence for the Future Awards
Activities: Gonzaga Journal of International Law, Associate Editor
Savannah College of Art & Design
M.A. (2006) | Historic Preservation
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Concentrated on Municipal and State Government, Grants and Historic Districts
Honors: Sigma Pi Kappa, National Council for Preservation Education Combined Fellowship Award
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (2000) | Community Land Use and Natural Resource Planning
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Honors: Planning Book Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper American Institute of Certified Planners Certificate for Professional Promise Virginia Citizen Planning Association Outstanding Planning Student Award
Activities: Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association, Board Member Virginia Tech University Council, Member
University of Delaware
B.A. | Geography
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Emphasis in Biogeography
Professional Associations
American Planning Association
AICP
Current
Idaho State Bar Association
Current
Washington State Certified Professional Guardian
Current
Washington State Bar Association
Member
- Current
Publications
Articles & Publications
Robins Air Force Base, Joint Land Use Study
Smart Growth's Weak Link, Water and Sewer Planning
Certifications
Certified Planner
American Institute of Certified Planners
Websites & Blogs
Website
Website
Legal Answers
7 Questions Answered

Q. Is there any reason to "leave probate open as long as possible" ? Does it benefit the heirs or the attorney?
A: Generally, no. Washington law requires personal representative to act in an effective manner in the best interests of everyone with a stake in the estate (creditors and heirs, alike). RCW 11.48.010 General powers and duties. It shall be the duty of every personal representative to settle the estate, including the administration of any nonprobate assets within control of the personal representative under RCW 11.18.200, in his or her hands as rapidly and as quickly as possible, without sacrifice to the probate or nonprobate estate. That being said, an estate may stay open longer with good reason. For example, may a real property might sell for significantly more money if it is listed in the spring rather than mid-winter. There would be a good argument for doing so, in that case. Michael Whipple
Q. Hi my father died and my brother is the admin. He gave me some money but won't show me any of the bank stuff or insurane
A: You can file a 'request for special notice' with him and the court where probate is opened. Request an estate inventory, at the same time. He is required to provide this to you within 10 days of request (if the probate has been opened 90 days). This will at least provide you a list of all assets he has identified. Consult an attorney if you 'do not trust' the appointed personal representative. A PR can be removed with cause. Michael Whipple
Q. My grandmother passed & willed everything to my aunt is it OK for her to go down & get the money out of My grandma bank
A: Washington law allows people to sign a "small estate affidavit" to settle estates that the value of the assets are below $100,000.00 AND there are no creditors (this is important), and, as you indicated, there are no additional heirs to be consulted. However, since there was a will, in this case, state probate law requires the will to be filed within 30 days and she can open probate, at the same time.
Q. my mom died in a nursing home. The State took her SSI . She owned nothing. Why do I have to go through probate?
A: There is no requirement for anyone to have to go through probate. Probate would be for the purposes of settling debts and transferring ownership of assets of your mother's estate. No one can "inherit" someone else's debt. They can accept to receive encumbered assets. That may or may not be what is occurring here. Often, the agency will provide you the opportunity, first, to open probate before taking further action.
Q. If a person disappears and is not found, how long do the heirs have to wait for inheritance in Wash State?
A: These types of cases always prove interesting and answers really depend on the particular facts and circumstances-However, a general rule of thumb is 7 years. If possible, you want to have the county coroner or medical examiner make a declaration of presumed death. We have been successful in having the court make this determination where there was no suitable alternative. Michael Whipple
Q. If my sister is assigned as executor on my father's will and doesn't wish to do it, what do I need to do to be assigned?
A: You would petition the court for appointment as personal representative(executor) seeking 'Letters of Administration.' You would submit the petition with an order to that effect. If the will stipulates 'without bond' and with 'non-intervention powers', your petition and order would reflect that. If it does not, you would need to be prepared to post bond. If the will has not been filed with the court clerk, do so right away. A death certificate is not necessary to open probate but will prove helpful you probate the estate. You will also need to file an oath with the court in order to obtain your letters.
Q. Brother passed away with no will. He only had property. Which bank note is paid in full. Stepfather placed lean on deed.
A: The best course to resolve these issues (i.e. transfer of real property and efficacy of lien) is to use the probate process. Depending on whether he was married at death, his spouse or an interested party may open probate by seeking appointment as the "Personal Representative" (executor) of the estate. Then, with the help of an attorney, use the probate process to transfer of property to heirs under Washington intestacy law. I would have to see the lien itself to judge whether it was enforceable or not. Michael Whipple
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Contact & Map
The Whipple Law Group, PLLC
309 E. Pacific Ave
Spokane, WA 99202
USA
Telephone: (509) 869-3223
Fax: (509) 847-0165