11 Steps to Probate a Will

Black Fountain Pen | Succession Planning | Myatt & Bell

If someone living in Oregon has named you as the personal representative or executor in their Will, 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. Please 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.
  3. If your loved one had any assets, we will draft a Probate Petition and, if needed, work with a bonding company to purchase a bond that the court may require.
  4. Once finalized and signed, we will file the Probate Petition with the court in the county 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.
  5. The court will then approve the petition and grant Letters Testamentary.
  6. With the Letters Testamentary, we 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 provide information about your loved one’s accounts or help you gather the assets.
  7. Meanwhile, we 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.
  8. At this point, there is a waiting period of 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.
  9. Once the waiting period is complete and the assets gathered, we will prepare an accounting, which will also be filed with the court.
  10. Finally, once the court has approved everything, the assets are distributed according to the terms of the Will, or if there is no will, then according to Oregon’s statutes.
  11. Additionally, if your loved-one’s gross estate is over $1 Million, we will prepare and file an Oregon estate tax return. To calculate the potential estate taxes, click here.

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