PROBATE PROCESS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON

Here is a general overview of the probate process for Oregon.  Washington has some similarities but is substantially abbreviated, as noted below.

Probate requires the appointment of a personal representative (referred to as the executor in certain states).  If the decedent dies testate, the personal representative ultimately appointed is usually the first nominee named in the decedent’s will. If the decedent dies intestate, the personal representative is usually the relative or friend who wins the race to the courthouse and files first.

For testate estates (i.e., the decedent died with a will), the will is proved and admitted by the court. Proof is usually through an affidavit of attesting witnesses to the will. See ORS 113.055(1).

Within 30 days of the appointment of the personal representative, the heirs, devisees, and persons described in ORS 113.035(8) and (9) are notified of the decedent’s death and the pending probate administration.

The personal representative identifies and values the assets of the estate and, within 60 days of appointment, files an inventory with the court. ORS 113.165.  This is not required in Washington if the personal representative requests “nonintervention” powers, which is the typical approach.

The personal representative must make a reasonably diligent search for creditors of the estate and provide them notice of the probate proceeding. ORS 115.003.  Unidentified creditors are notified by publishing notice of the personal representative’s appointment once per week for three weeks in a local newspaper of general circulation. ORS 113.155(1).

Each creditor must file a claim against the estate for debts owed by the decedent no later than 30 days after personal notice is mailed or four months after the newspaper notice is published, whichever occurs later. ORS 115.005(2). If the claim is not filed within the applicable period, the underlying debt is either subordinated to timely filed claims or barred. ORS 115.005(3).  A different procedure applies to mortgage loans and other secured debt.

As appropriate, the personal representative liquidates the decedent’s property and pays allowed claims and expenses of administration.

The personal representative files any required state or federal income and death tax returns and pays any taxes due. See ORS 114.305(17).

After completion of the foregoing steps, the personal representative files a final account with the court.  ORS 116.083(3).  In Washington, the personal representative files a very short document known as ”declaration of completion” in lieu of a final account.

After court approval of the final account, the assets of the estate are distributed to the beneficiaries under the will or the heirs at law. ORS 116.113.  In Washington, court approval is unnecessary to make the final distribution (or interim distributions).

Caveat: Probate is deceptively complicated. While generic probate filings can be routine, there are ample opportunities for malpractice. If claims are not disallowed within 60 days, they are deemed allowed. ORS 115.135(1). Death taxes must be paid within nine months after death or there will be substantial penalties (usually 5% per month). See, e.g., ORS 118.260(4); IRC §6651(a)(1).

Death taxes may have to be apportioned among various classes of beneficiaries.  It may be necessary to select fiscal taxable years so that excess deductions are transferred to the beneficiaries under IRC §642(h), and not lost. It may be necessary to fund tax planning trusts based on a formula clause in the will. Although not technically part of the probate, tax guidance on distributions from IRAs is often necessary.  This list could go on for pages.

Supervision by an experienced probate lawyer with a tax background is recommended.

62 thoughts on “PROBATE PROCESS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON

  1. Our father died 10-7-12. Our brother, the Executor, doesn’t seem to have taken action. Nobody has received notice of probate. Is there a time limit for filing a copy of the will so that probate can begin? There are seven children involved.

    • Lygia,

      Your situation is more common than it should be. It usually occurs when the named executor is living in the decedent’s house (rent free) and does not want to change the status quo. If you have asked your brother to probate the will, and he refuses, you should file a copy of the will with the court, accompanied by a petition that requests the court to appoint you executor. You should also include as exhibits copies of the letters (or emails) you have written to your brother urging him to commence a probate, along with any written refusals from him. You should also include in the probate petition a statement to the effect that you are filing because your brother won’t, and are filing a copy of the will (rather than the original) because your brother has the original and refuses to act. If easily done, you might also get written consent from your other five siblings whereby they approve of your appointment as executor. You will probably need an attorney to make this happen, but you can warn your brother and try one last time to get him moving.

      Dave

  2. To whom it may concern
    My adoption father recently pass away in Lafayette OR, I was told by him with my two sisters present, his estate was to be divided three ways each will equal shares. Since his demise on April 23, 2013 the middle sister Robin Ann Smith who resides on the property refuses to show or discuss the will. I live on SSI and need advice in this matter.what do I need to do

    • Randie,

      First of all, I am sorry you lost your dad.

      Unfortunately, your situation is not unusual. The child residing on the property is seldom interested in changing the status quo.

      Your father’s oral statement to the three of you has little legal significance. What matters is whether he signed a will. If he did, your inheritance is controlled by his will. If he didn’t, your share is 1/3 (assuming you were legally adopted). There are several avenues for gaining access to the will. First, you might ask your other sister if she knows whether your father has a will. He may not. If you are able to establish that he has a will, you should give Robin written notice that she is obligated to commence a probate proceeding. If she refuses to either commence a probate proceeding or give you a copy of the will, you might consider filing an intestate probate proceeding based on the assumption that your father had no will. You would need to disclose to the court whether you have been told that your father has a will, and that you have given your sister a reasonable amount of time to probate it. This will force your sister to either file the will with the court, or go along with an intestate probate proceeding. I know this sounds self-serving, but you will get better results with a lawyer. Your sister is more likely to behave. Or she may decide to hire a lawyer, who will tell her she must probate the will or disclose that there is no will. I am sorry your sister is acting this way.

      Dave

  3. It has been 7 weeks since I contacted an attorney about my fathers estate (he died in March). I am the named personal rep in his will.
    Anyway- what was told to me was a simple and quick process has been anything but.
    I still don’t even know if the probate process has begun. I’m still waiting to receive my ‘letters’ so I can access my fathers accounts. Meanwhile, I’m paying his household bills and my two brothers are calling me daily check the status.
    The attorney hasn’t returned my calls.
    I’m at a loss of what to do. I don’t know if there is a standard timeline for this process-am I being impatient or unreasonable ? He has the original will.

    Advise?

    • Sue,

      The delays you describe are unacceptable. So are the ignored phone calls. Either your lawyer is too busy with other projects or inexperienced. Absent unusual circumstances, it takes about 2 hours to prepare the court filings necessary to appoint an executor. These are standard forms. Once the papers are signed by the executor and filed with the court, it takes roughly a week or two to get letters testamentary in the mail. Some counties are slower than others. Washington County, in particular, can be terribly slow and unresponsive. But that is normally not more than an extra week of delay. Without letters testamentary, you can do nothing; everything is paralyzed. I would not be happy either.

      Dave

      • Thank you for the quick response.
        I’m going to go to make an appointment to see what the hold up is.
        I’m anxious to get the letters testamentary to get this process going. Thanks again.

  4. Dave,
    I am the co trustee of my parents’ trust and my step brother is the other co trustee. He is living in their house and has been taking over everything. Most of the assets were never transferred to the family trust and will have to be probated. He has been trying to get me to sign off any rights to the trust because he wants to probate it himself. He has already hidden assets away in a bank account somewhere. He has stopped talking to me and I learned from an apt. Management company that he has opened the probate and is trying to get them to send him the monthly checks using this personal representative appointment. As co trustee do I have the right to all of the probate documentation? Can he now legally seize that money and use it as he sees fit?

    • Sharon,

      You have lots of issues.

      Who is named as personal representative under the will? If it is your stepbrother (and not the two of you), he alone is authorized to probate the will. But that doesn’t prejudice you. I suspect the trust is the sole beneficiary under the will, so each co-trustee is an interested party entitled to all probate information. As personal representative, he should establish an account in the name of the estate and deposit all rent checks into that account. He cannot pocket any of the money. If your brother refuses to send you the probate documents, you can get them at the courthouse. An easier tactic would be to call his lawyer and tell him that you will file with the court to remove your brother as personal representative if he breaches his duty to provide you statutory notices. In all events, most states require the personal representative to provide a full accounting at the end of the probate. Some states do not require this unless a beneficiary requests. Your “homework” should be to ask your brother’s attorney for any probate papers that have been filed, or get them at the courthouse if the attorney refuses. Second, you should request the court to compel your brother to provide a full accounting (when he closes the estate) if the state laws would not otherwise require him to do so.

      Good luck.

      Dave

  5. My Great Aunt passed In April, I received a letter from my aunt’s (Named PR) attorney stating, she passed without a will and that I am one of the Heirs. Do I need to do anything to be an heir, file any forms ect.; or will the probate process just go through, and whatever remains, after all fees, debts ect are taken, go to the heirs?

    • Katie,

      You do not need to do anything — except wait patiently for your check.

      Most states give notice to all heirs at the commencement of the probate proceeding so that they have an opportunity to come forward with information about the existence of the decedent’s will. Also, at least in Oregon, an heir can file a “request for “notice” with the court and cause the PR to send the heir a copy of everything the PR files with the court.

      Dave

  6. Does Oregon have a law allowing a personal representative to live rent free in the deceased house? The PR is an heir to the house, but actions such as this appear to benefit the PR personally which I thought was illegal.

  7. My father in law passed away on June 30th. 2 wks before he passed away he discussed the will with family members. His wife has not turned the will over to probate its been well over 30 days. My sister in law also saw the will briefly. All the siblings were named in the will. His wife mentioned that she couldn’t get money out his bank acct and she was going to have to hire an attny.. in re to the will. My husband asked to see the will and she said he could come over and see it. She was going to turn the will into probate in which the date would have been around June 26th or so.. Now its Aug. 9th and the will is in her possession but no one elses. ‘What are the consequences not turning the will into probate within the 30 days. This is not a small amount of assets. How do get her to turn the will over to probate if she wont let anyone read it.??

    • Dear Abby,

      This is a common problem without a perfect solution. Second marriages always seem to trigger these kinds of issues.

      ORS 112.810(1)(f) says that a person holding a decedent’s will shall, within 30 days after learning of the decedent’s death, deliver the will to a court having jurisdiction or to a personal representative named in the will. Since she is the personal representative and has the original will, she has fully complied with ORS 112.810(1)(f) and is not required to file it with the court.

      There is no requirement under Oregon law that she provide a copy of the will to you, and there is no deadline for probating the will. Fortunately, it appears some of the decedent’s assets cannot be transferred without a probate, so she will have to probate the will if she wants the assets. I have not done this, but I suppose you could commence an intestate probate proceeding, and state that the will must have been revoked (since the wife won’t produce it), which would force the wife to probate the will. Once a probate is commenced, the will is made public and all beneficiaries and interested parties are given notice.

      Transparency is the best policy. The wife is creating hard feelings from the outset by refusing to share information. It would be a good development if she hired a lawyer, since he or she would advise her to retain a lawyer and probate the will.

      Dave

    • Adrian,

      Assuming there are probate assets, you should file a petition with the court to be appointed executor. This will allow you to distribute the assets to yourself.

      Dave

  8. What happens in Washington State if an estate is probated intestate and either during the probate procedure or after the distribution of the estate a valid executed will is found?

    • Mollie,

      I haven’t had this occur yet in Washington, but I think you would file the standard petition to commence a testate probate proceeding, probably with the same case number and without an additional filing fee. New notices, etc. will need to be filed.

      Dave

      • Thanks for your reply. What would happen if the estate has already been distributed intestate before the properly executed will was found?

  9. My wife’s aunt recently died there in Oregon. Her husband predeceased her by over a year. They have a revocable living trust agreement (to which each transferred assets via a will). The trust says “upon the death of the survivor of us, our Trustees shall then distribute our properties in the following manner:” It then says that if [the husband] is the last surviving Trustee /Beneficiary then certain assets will be distributed to named individuals. If [aunt] is the last surviving Trustee/Beneficiary the other assets will be distributed to my wife and her mother [aunt's sister]. One reading is that since husband died first everything passes through the aunt’s distribution, but we are certain that is not what they intended. Rather they intended that the distribution follow both the husband’s wishes for his named property adn the aunt’s wishes for her named property. How will Oregon courts handle this situation and how do we address this from long distance?

    • Dave,

      I would be surprised if the heirs of the last surviving spouse “take all,” since that would be an arbitrary manner of favoring one class of beneficiaries over another. The trust should read that each class of heirs gets one-half at the aunt’s death. I am guessing that the husband’s half was allocated to a “subtrust” at his death, and that this subtrust passes at the aunt’s death to the husband’s heirs. If you can email me the trust (dcs@bhlaw.com), I can give you a quick analysis of how it plays out. Dave

  10. can a home left to me TOD outside the will and non probateable, be transfered to my name and listed for sale immediatly if the household furnishing are to be inventoried by the personal representive and eventually divided between myself and 1 other benficary?

    • Doug,

      The home automatically became yours at the instant of death, and was automatically transferred to you (by operation of law) at that time. Except for recording a death certificate, no further transfer documentation is needed. You can list the home immediately. The PR will have plenty of time between the listing date and the closing of the sale to deal with the personal property.

      Dave

      • the answer s only partly correct the new rulng on TOD for oregon state that the real estate that is TOD must be held open to creditors for 18 months instead of the usual 4 months before it can be exempt from creditors, it could essentailly be sold but it seeems it would be impossible to get title insurance and who would buy a proerty that was still in probate? senate bill 815

        • Gary,

          If the decedent recorded a transfer on death deed, you are correct that creditors have 18 months to present claims to the transferee. However, I am told that title insurance companies are usually willing to insure title prior to the expiration of the 18 month period. So long as a title insurance company will insure title, a buyer should have no reluctance to purchase.

          Dave

  11. My wife has died. I filed a small estate probate in Multnomah county. Recently I received the forms back as a package with a stamp from the circuit court of Oregon on the back. Is this what I need to close her bank account? Everything else is paid or accounted for.

  12. mother recently died, a freind of hers showed up with a newly drafted will less than 5 months ago it was done right after she had a stroke? the will s completely differant than the will she had completed less than 2 years ago, included are this friend as personal representitve as well a beneficary and also his wife is a beneficary, this seems very strange to our family as this freind had also been the cuase of some very poor financial advice in which my mother mortgaged a paid for home, on this freinds recomendations, and then this friend sold my mother 145k worth of vacation packages at age 81! we have recently found that this friend had also made the appointments with the attoreny and took my mother thier. as a family we feel this personal is not only unethical in his buisness practices but has exerted undue influence over my mother as well, and the fact that him and his wfe are now beneficaries of the will and my only brother who had voiced strong objections to this individuals constant presence and knowledge of my mothers fnancial and personal affairs, has been cut out completely. this person is not an attorney or financail professinal, had met my mother shortley before my father died at a retirement center functions promoting vacations, after my father died this individual was a constant presence in my mothers life, do we have any recourse to challange this individuals authority and thier portion of the estate they have been left due to this new will, attorney who drafted will wont speak with us.

    • Ron,

      You should file a will contest (on grounds of undue influence) immediately after the “friend” files with the court to be appointed personal representative. The siblings “on your side” can pool funds to pay for the legal fees. If you prevail, your fees will be reimbursed by the estate. Depending on the severity of the undue influence, the court may decide to compel the friend to reimburse the estate for the additional attorney fees caused by his meddling in your mother’s affairs. You may or may not have a claim against him for elder abuse.

      Dave

  13. To whom it may concern,
    My mother passed away some years ago and she had a house that me and my brother grew up in. I was recently contacted by my brothers wife’s attorney stating that my brother had passed away and that there was no living will for my mother to be found so therefor the house now belongs to me and my brothers wife. The house has been being rented out since before my mother and brother have passed and since my brother has passed the wife has been collecting the rent money for the house. The wife’s attorney had told me that I am entitled to half of the money as well as half of the maint. costs as well. The wife has not offered me anything nor told me of any expenses for maint. There were suppose to be probate proceedings getting started but as of yet nothing has been done.
    Where do I stand in this matter?

    Thank you,
    Mark

    • Mark,

      In general, your sister-in-law’s attorney is probably correct. Under your brother’s will (or the laws of intestate succession, if he had no will), a half interest in the house probably passed to his wife. Thus, although title to the house is still in your mother’s name (assuming there was no probate proceeding), you and your sister-in-law effectively own the house in equal shares. You are entitled to one-half of the net income on the property, and your sister-in-law should account to you for what she has received.

      I recommend you try to talk your sister-in-law into selling the house so that the two of you can disentangle. You may or may not have to commence a probate proceeding for your mother’s estate (to establish the chain of title to the house), depending on the value of the house.

      Dave

  14. Hi
    I have a question about the probate process. I received a packet of papers from the attorney of my uncles estate. I can’t figure out when distribution will be made. One of the papers says that anyone whom object to the will has until the 26th of December of this hear to do so. After trobat dates what happens
    Tthank you
    Kristen

    • Kristin,

      In general, you have four months after the personal representative is appointed to contest (i.e., challenge, or try to invalidate) the will. I suspect December 26 is the last day of the four month period. You may still be months away from getting distributions, depending on the remaining tasks the personal representative must complete. Will any real estate be sold? Must final personal income tax returns be filed? (Probably.) An attorney will usually avoid giving a firm distribution date because a number of milestones are out of the attorney’s control and may cause delays.

      Dave

  15. I lost my mother this past January. My mother did not leave much of anything behind. I filed a small estates affidavit in Oregon and have taken care of all her accounts, creditors, paperwork, etc. She did not leave a will, so as the eldest child of four, I took on this responsibility. I recently received a settlement check from a worker’s compensation case that was owed to my mother. I have tried to cash the check and distribute the money to each of the four children in our family. The bank will not cash the check. They say that I need to be the representative of the estate. When taking on these duties, it was my understanding that is what I became. I am listed as the affiant on the small estates affidavit. Are these two different things? Is there something else I must do to be granted this title? If so, where do I find these forms?
    Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Kori,

      Banks are difficult. If the settlement check is listed on the small estate affidavit I don’t see how the bank can refuse. It is usually easier to make a deposit through an ATM rather than cash a check in person. You may want to sign your name to the check with the phrase “small estate affiant” after your signature, and then deposit it in an ATM. Another alternative is to do another small estate affidavit and list the check. Dave

  16. My stepmother passed away 1 month ago – her will left the house to me and my sister, everything else to her daughter (the PR). ‘Everything else’ probably amounts to little. The house had been paid off ($200k) but a reverse mortgage was taken out some years ago. This is in Oregon. Does this need to go thru probate? Does the house need to be sold? What part does the mortgage company play? Can the house be cleaned up? thx.

    • Brian,

      This probably needs to go through probate, although you may be able to get by with a small estate affidavit if the house is worth less than $200k. Before you dive into probate, it might be useful to determine if the balance owed on the reverse mortgage is nearly the same as the value of the property. If it is, you should let the house be foreclosed, since the net proceeds to you would be nominal. I have not seen the reverse mortgage contract, but I suspect you are required to pay off the mortgage or sell the home shortly after your stepmother’s death. If you don’t do this, the mortgage company will foreclose. You should clean up the house before you sell it, but only if the sale is likely to result in net proceeds passing to you. If the net proceeds will be nominal, I would let the mortgage lender worry about preparing the home for sale.

      Dave

      • Saw a lawyer and decided we could just do a Small Estate Affidavit instead of probate. House minus debt is about $40k and personal property maybe $5k. There are a few creditors seeking money – cable co. won’t cancel the service with a large fee, stereo not paid for, etc. Is there a period of time where creditors could still make claims on the estate?

        • Brian,

          In general, creditors have four months after you file the affidavit to present claims. See ORS 114.525(12).

          Dave

          PS – The gross value of the house (not the equity) is the relevant value for determining if a small estate affidavit may be used.

  17. I am the Personal Representative for my wife’s mother’s estate. The gross value of the estate is approximately $120,000 with five heirs. From what I can find, the estate itself is not subject to an estate tax. My question is, are the individual heirs of the estate liable for some sort of tax and do I need to provide 1099′s?

    • Dave,

      The short answers are no and no. In general, an inheritance is “free money.” IRA distributions are a big exception to this rule, since they are subject to income tax when withdrawn.

      Dave

  18. my mother recently passed …she put everything she owned in trusts and… pod… her bank accounts..her estate is probably worth less than 50 thousand dollars..with her cars and her meager household contents

    Is there a dollar limit on filing probate..how would one proceed in this situation

    • Stanley,

      I suspect probate is not needed. Assets in a trust pass free of probate. So do payable on death accounts. A one page affidavit can be used to withdraw bank accounts less than $25,000. A DMV affidavit can be used to transfer a vehicle. Thus, you should be able to administer the estate without filing with the court to initiate probate. Dave

      • We have developed another problem..My mother gifted me the house she was living in and the farm that surrounded the house..93 percent gift from mom and the remaining 7 percent is in my fathers trust…

        my sister is pr of moms estate..she change the locks on the house and locked me out she says for 9 months to a year till moms stuff is probated..she gave keys to my brothers that live far away and none to me. I live on the property

        can she do this..according to the probate court she hasn’t been appointed anything yet..i am sure she is trustee of dads trust now

        what can i do

        • Stanley,

          If you are the legal owner of the house, there is a lot you can do about your sister’s actions. Was the deed vesting the house in your name recorded before your mother died? If so, I would hire a locksmith and take possession of the house. If your sister enters the house without your permission, I would call the police, since she is trespassing. Make sure you have a copy of the recorded deed to the house, so that you can show it to the police officer and locksmith.

          Dave

          • I have a similar problem..My wife and i purchased a house 33 years ago..we put 25000$ down on the house..my wifes inheritance..the i did something really dumb..i let my father talk me into paying off the rest of the mortgage if i worked a number of years for him..he was in ill health at the time so i agreed..he gave a option on the rest of the mortgage to get the house back as he had it deeded to himself…he would not allow us to exercise the option later when we wanted too
            Then he said he would leave it to us in his will..he lied..he left it to my sister..what are our options ..we did all the maintenance and repairs out of our pockets..what can we take with us when we leave ..the letter gives us 60 days to vacate..we never received our 25000$ back..the option is still attached to the deed..my wife has been crying all week ..we are old and way past moving again..probate began a week ago..i made a mess

          • Mike,

            Your email is a little hard to follow. It sounds like you transferred your house to your father in exchange for him paying off the mortgage. What I don’t know is the “deal” concerning your $25,000 down payment. Did he also promise to deed the house back to you if you worked for him? And you worked for him and he did not deed it back?

            You probably have a claim against the estate based on a contract to make a will. Or maybe a claim for unjust enrichment. I gather your sister has no intention to make things “right?”

            Dave

  19. My Dad had died on 12/09/13 in Astoria, OR. I’m his only daughter. I am now in the probate period and have a question regarding donations. When my Dad passed, I had gone to the Food Bank and local animal shelter with donations from the Estate. (I wasn’t appointed yet). So now, I am doing the Inventory for the Court and was wondering do I list donations I have done and would like to continue doing in the future on the list? And am I suppose to claim these donations on my father’s tax filing, my tax filing, or neither. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Donna,

      You don’t have authority to make donations to charities or distributions to yourself until the final account is approved and the estate is closed. If the court finds out, you will be thoroughly scolded. You should not make any more donations to charities at this time, since they are unlawful.

      The tax analysis is interesting. I think the most persuasive interpretation of the facts is that a distribution of money was made from the estate to you, and you used the funds to make charitable donations. Thus, the charitable contribution deduction will be taken on your personal income tax return.

      Dave

      • Thank you for your quick reply. I won’t be making any more donations until probate is completed then.
        But, as stated above, “As appropriate, the personal representative liquidates the decedent’s property and pays allowed claims and expenses of administration”.
        So now I’m not sure what is appropriate to liquidate during the probate process. Am I only allowed to sell items?

        • Donna,

          You have complete flexibility. You can sell everything or you can hold everything. But if you don’t sell anything, you may have to make loans to the estate so that you can pay claims and costs of administration.

          Dave

  20. My father just passed away 3 days ago. Suicide. I am devastated. I live in another state, he lived in Oregon. He lived in a travel trailer renting a space for it. The only thing he owned is the trailer and a car. Trailer is still owing a couple of payments. He has bank accounts as well although I don’t know balances.
    My uncle has already gone through dad’s things and found a will naming me sole beneficiary. The uncle has tried to say he will do this and that, inventory blah blah. I told him to stop and I will come deal with it. This uncle has not spoken to my father in about 5 years and they lived in the same town. Now he wants to take everything over and I am saying NO and changing locks on the trailer and car because the keys have mysteriously disappeared.

    What should be my next logical step? I figure I need to secure an estate attorney there in Oregon. Do I have to sell the trailer or can I keep both the trailer and the car? Will it need to go through probate? I have already made arrangements with the landlord to keep paying lot rent and I can leave trailer there as long as I want or need.

    • Mick,

      I am sorry you lost your father.

      Under Oregon law, you can transfer a travel trailer or motor vehicle without a probate. Just use the DMV inheritance affidavit. See http://www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/516fill.pdf. Along the same lines, there is a one page affidavit you can provide a bank to withdraw your father’s bank account. (I am assuming you are the only child, or that your siblings will join in the DMV affidavit or bank affidavit.)

      You need not sell either asset. The is no estate tax or income tax.

      Dave

      • Oh my!! Thank you so much David C. Streicher! That is exactly what I needed. You saved me a bundle of hassle. Appreciate you so much. And yes, I am the only child and there is no spouse. He had been single for at least 34 years.
        Mick

  21. I am a beneficiary of my fathers disclaimer trust..i want a copy of his trust..how do i go about getting a copy..my mother passed and i received a letter from a attorney saying i could request a copy..i requested ..nothing has happened.

    i did get a copy of my fathers will and a letter….ORS 130.733 notice of proposed trustee action..nothing more..i dont think that constitutes a trust..am i wrong

    • I suspect the will contains a “disclaimer trust.” You should look through the will and look for the word “disclaimer trust.” I suspect one or two pages of the will contain the terms of the disclaimer trust.

  22. I sold a house to a widow in October 2013 and carried the paper. She was the only person listed on the trust deed. She made only 3 payments and then died unexpectedly in mid January. She left no will.

    Her only child, an adult son, had been living in the house with her. He has no income and originally said he would move out right away but does not seem to be making any effort to do so. He also says he cannot afford probate.

    Those mortgage payments were my chief source of income. What is my best course of action to get the house back into my name so that I can rent or sell it?
    Your answer is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Carole,

      You need to foreclose the deed of trust. You can probably puchase the property at the foreclosure sale for the amount of the debt. Alternatively, if the son will cooperate, you can ask the executor to sign a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Does the estate have assets? In lieu of foreclosing, you might be able to make a claim against the estate for the balance owed.

      Dave

      • I will try and work with the son to start probate so he can sign a deed in lieu. Failing that, I will start the foreclosure process since the estate has little, if any assets. Again, thank you for your help.

  23. I have a problem 9 years after my husband’s death. His estate did not go through the probate process, since I thought that all assets were held jointly or with me as the beneficiary. With this one exception- he had 3 individual accounts benefitting our children for the Georgia College 529 Plan. For some reason, no beneficiary was named. I have contacted the plan several times and have finally gotten to the point that they need Letters Testamentary appointing me as the personal representative of his estate. He had a will. Is this something that can be done 10 years after his death and can I do this without an attorney, since the sum of the accounts is around $2,000. If I had to retain an attorney, what would this cost? Also, I live in Linn County now and he died in Multnomah. Do the filings have to take place at the county of death?

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