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Probate is a court-supervised process of distributing property as directed in a will or in accordance with inheritance laws, if no will exists. Sometimes probate is needed to:

  • Clear title to land, stocks and bonds, or large bank or savings and loan accounts that were held in the name of the deceased person only, and put the title to these assets in the names of the rightful beneficiaries.
  • Collect debts owed to the deceased person.
  • Settle a dispute between people who claim they are entitled to assets of the deceased person.
  • Resolve any disputes about the validity of the deceased person’s will.
We can assist you with the following:
  • Formal probate administration (see below)
  • Small estate probate administration (see below)
  • Oregon Ancillary probate administration
  • Asset distribution
  • Beneficiary rights under a will or trust
  • Estate administration and litigation
  • Preparation of the federal and state estate tax returns
  • Trust Administration and litigation
  • Representation of Personal Representatives
  • Representation of heirs and creditors
  • Representing trustees in the administration of revocable and irrevocable trusts
Formal Administration

This is required for estates that do not qualify as a “small estate” (see below). It is a court supervised proceeding where a will is admitted, a personal representative is appointed, notices are sent to interested persons (surviving spouse, beneficiaries, etc.) and published. Assets are collected, debts and taxes are paid, and after the distribution of estate, it is closed and the personal representative is relieved of all duties and liabilities to the estate.  We generally represent the Personal Representative in fulfilling his/her duties.
 
Small Estates

This is a streamlined procedure available when the value of the personal property of the estate is $50,000 or less, and real property is valued at $150,000 or less. We can assist in preparing an Affidavit for this purpose, and otherwise complying with the rules of this procedure.
 
Will Contests

In the vast majority of cases, a person’s Will is filed for probate and is administered without any conflict. However, in some instances, a dispute may arise over the person applying to be the executor/personal representative, or the dispute may arise over the validity of the terms of the Will. We will provide information related to the various avenues in which a Will can be contested and what it involves.