If someone living in Oregon has named you as the personal representative or executor in their Will, then you will need to begin the process known as probate.  Here is a summary overview and outline of the Probate process in Oregon (we also handle Washington and California probates, but the process is a little different in each state):

  1. When your loved-one passes away, you will need to get a copy of the death certificate along with a copy of their estate planning documents including their Will and/or Trust and bring them to an attorney.
  2. If you loved-one had any assets, the attorney will draft a Probate Petition and, if needed, work with a bonding company to purchase a bond that the court may require.
  3. Once finalized and signed, the attorney will file the Probate Petition with the county court where your loved-one lived. The petition will provide information about your loved-one, information about their heirs, and their assets.Additionally, the petition will ask the court to issue Letters Testamentary.The petition, and other notices along the way, will be sent to heirs, beneficiaries and state agencies, informing them of your loved-one’s passing and the status of the probate proceeding.
  4. The court will then approve the petition and grant you Letters Testamentary.
  5. With the Letters Testamentary, you can begin collecting all of your loved-one’s assets and open a new bank account for the estate. Without the Letters Testamentary, the bank, financial advisors, and others generally will not give you information about your loved-one’s accounts or help you gather the assets.
  6. Meanwhile, the attorney will prepare and publish a notice in the newspaper informing the public that your loved one has passed. This is required in Oregon, because it gives creditors a chance to come forward and make their claims against the estate.
  7. At this point, you wait for 4 months to pass from the time the newspaper notice is published. In some instances, you will be able to sell your loved-one’s home and other assets during this waiting period.
  8. Once you have completed the waiting period and gathered the assets, you will give the information to the attorney and they will prepare an accounting, which will also be filed with the court.
  9. Finally, once the court has approved everything, you can  distribute the assets according to the terms of the Will, or if there is no will, then according to Oregon’s statutes.
  10. Additionally, if your loved-one’s gross estate is over $1 Million, then you will need to prepare and file an Oregon estate tax return. To calculate the potential estate taxes, click here.
  11. Please visit our Contact Us page, or call us at 503-641-6262, or email us at info@myattandbell.com to schedule an appointment to start the process of probating your loved-one’s estate.
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