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Probate

     Probate is the court-supervised transfer of property from a deceased person to his or her heirs.  We work closely with you to navigate the probate process as quickly and expeditiously as possible and to ensure that any questions you have regarding the process are addressed in a timely fashion.

Some steps of probate include:

  • Admission of Will to Probate or Petition Court to Probate an Intestate Estate (where there is no Will).
  • Appointment of the Personal Representative (also known as an Executor in other states).
  • Publish Notice of the Estate Proceedings and Notify Heirs, Devisees and other Interested Persons.
  • Gather Assets and Identify Liabilities/Debts of the Deceased.
  • File Tax Returns with IRS, Oregon Department of Revenue and other taxing authorities.
  • File Accounting with the Court.
  • Distribute Property (if sufficient property remains after paying expenses and claims in the order set forth by statute).

In some instances, a Small Estate Proceeding may be used, which is a faster process used for small estates.

     Although most everyone attempts to avoid Probate, there are some benefits of working through the Probate process.  It ensures that the debts of the deceased are paid and, because creditors have a finite amount of time to respond to the notice, it cuts off the creditor claims if the creditors do not respond in a timely fashion.  Creditors that are unknown by the end of the probate process are unable to collect on their debt.  This serves an important public purpose of finality and faith that the heir or devisee receiving the property won't be surprised by a creditor later asserting a claim against that property.  Of course, the probate process also serves the purpose of distributing a person’s assets according to their Will.

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