How Probate Laws Work in Oregon

When a person dies, the things they own must be distributed elsewhere. The assets go to whomever is designated in the will as the heirs. Unfortunately, you can’t wait until you’re done grieving to move forward with this process. The assets must be protected and maintained, and debts must be paid.

The process of transferring ownership of property and other assets must go through the courts as probate. Each state has its own laws for probate, and it’s important to know how it works.

Is Probate Required in Oregon?

Probate is necessary for estates in Oregon with a few exceptions. This process is how the court ensures that the wishes of the deceased person are followed as directed in their will.

How Do You Avoid Probate in Oregon?

It is possible to avoid probate in Oregon, but you must be careful to plan ahead. The best method is by putting the estate in a revocable living trust. The person named as beneficiary would automatically receive everything in the trust when the owner passes away.

In some cases, you may not be able to avoid probate entirely, but you can keep some assets out of it. Some assets allow a beneficiary to be named, which will allow them to inherit without going to probate. Examples of this include bank accounts with someone as payable on death or life insurance policies with a beneficiary.

When a property or other asset is owned by two or more people jointly, the surviving owners are the new owners. They must be joint owners, such as spouses who own a property together or two business people as equal owners.

Can an Executor of an Estate in Oregon be Compensated?

An executor isn’t expected to donate their time. Oregon allows for them to receive compensation for their time and for any expenses they have from doing their job or for managing the estate’s assets.

How Much Does an Executor in Oregon Get Paid?

Oregon statutes allow for compensation based on the value of their services. The executor or personal representative may ask for a different method of compensation by filing the request with the court. In section 116-173, it details the normal amount of compensation to be given:

If the executor’s duties were beyond what is considered normal, they may receive a greater amount of pay. If the decedent provided for compensation in the will, it carries precedence.

How Long Does Probate in Oregon Take?

The timeline for probate can vary, but it will last at least four months because creditors must have time to file a claim against the estate. However, it is likely to last much longer, especially if the estate has any size. If someone contests the will or other delays happen, it will lengthen the time. Probate can take years, but even in the best case you should expect it to take between six months to a year before it is completed and the assets are dispersed.

Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate in Oregon?

All estates must go through probate unless they meet one of the few exceptions. However, some estates may qualify for a simplified version or probate that is less complicated and time-consuming. It is known as small estate proceeding. The personal property of the decedent can be worth no more than $75,000. Real property cannot have a value of more than $200,000. This process can’t start until 30 days after the person’s death, but it is completed once it has been filed.

Does a Will Have to Be Probated in Oregon?

A will must be filed with the court in the county where the deceased person lived before they died. Even if there is no property to probate, the will must be presented. The court will determine if the will is valid. It also allows for any assets that may be discovered in the future to be transferred correctly.

Settling an Estate in Oregon

Settling an estate in Oregon is similar to what happens in other states. However, the exact details and deadlines may be different. It’s helpful to understand the process if you’re involved in the estate.

There is a lot of paperwork involved, which is why it may be helpful to consult with an estate attorney.

How Long Do You Have to File Probate After a Death in Oregon?

You can file probate right after the person dies in Oregon. While there isn’t a strict timeline to file, it should be done in a timely manner. Other deadlines exist that must be followed. For instance, a list of assets must be provided within 90 days after the executor was appointed.

Probate Court in Oregon

The county circuit court is the court that handles probate. You can find the court for the county where the decedent lived by going to the Oregon state judiciary website: Oregon Judicial Department : Find a Court : Oregon State Courts : State of Oregon.

Probate Code in Oregon

Oregon laws regarding probate are found in the Oregon statutes in Title 12. You can find it online to learn the rules on how it should be handled.

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