Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person, including distributing their assets and paying any outstanding debts. In Oregon, there are specific requirements for when probate is necessary. Here’s what you need to know.
First, there is a common misconception that probate is reserved for the estates of people who died without leaving a Will or estate plan. It is true that probate is often required if the deceased person died without leaving a Will. However, probate is typically required even if the deceased person did have a Will outlining how their estate should be distributed. The Will must be submitted to the probate court to ensure the estate is distributed properly.
It’s also important to understand that not all assets are subject to probate. Assets that are jointly owned or have a designated beneficiary, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts, typically pass outside of probate. However, assets that are solely owned by the deceased person and have no designated beneficiary, such as real estate, bank accounts, and personal property, may need to go through probate.
In Oregon, probate is required if the value of the deceased person’s assets subject to probate is over $75,000. This value is determined by adding up the fair market value of all the assets subject to probate at the time of the person’s death.
There are also certain situations where probate may be required even if the value of the assets subject to probate is below $75,000. For example, if the deceased person owned real estate that is not jointly owned or subject to a transfer-on-death deed, probate will be necessary to transfer ownership to the heirs or devisees.
If you are the personal representative or executor of an estate, it’s important to consult with an attorney to determine whether probate is necessary and to guide you through the process. Failing to follow the proper probate procedures can result in significant delays and legal consequences.
In summary, probate is required in Oregon, regardless of whether the deceased person has a Will, if the value of the deceased person’s assets subject to probate is over $75,000, or if there are certain assets, such as real estate, that require probate regardless of their value. If you have questions about probate in Oregon, consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and probate law. It you would like assistance with administering an estate give ELPNW a call.