Probate is a legal process whereby the court oversees the distribution of assets left by a deceased person. Assets include anything a person owns with value, for example, a person’s personal property or cash.

Is probate always needed?

Probate is not always necessary. If the deceased person owned bank accounts or property with another person, the surviving co-owner often will own that property automatically. If a person dies leaving few assets, such as personal belonging or household goods, these items typically can be distributed among the rightful beneficiaries without the supervision of the court.


Probate Terminology

Decedent: A “decedent” is the person who died leaving an estate that needs to be paid to creditors or transferred to heirs or devisees. PR: The Personal Representative is the person appointed by the court that will be responsible for the administration of the probate. Estate: The “estate” means all of the decedent’s property that is subject to administration by a court. This does not include property that transfers automatically to others following death (such as joint bank accounts). Intestate: An estate that is intestate is one where the decedent did not have a will. Heirs: The “heirs” are the people who would inherit the decedent’s estate under Oregon’s laws of intestacy, ORS 112.017 to 112.115 (such as family members). Devisees: The “devisees” are people named in the will to receive the decedent’s estate. Charities can also be devisees.

Typical Timeline

  • Initial Consultation.
  • Within two weeks after the initial consultation a Petition I usually filed with the court (if all information requested has been received).
  • Usually within two weeks of filing the Petition the court will appoint the Personal Representative and send the Letters of Appointment. 

Call our office today for more detailed information on probates (503) 698-4900.