At Northwest Legal we help individuals and families with probate administration for estates of all sizes and complexities. Probate is the legal process in which a court oversees the distribution of assets left by a deceased person. Probate in Oregon may be unavoidable in certain circumstances, such as when there are disputes, debts need to be collected, title property is involved, or the estate is large.
If probate is necessary, an experienced Oregon probate attorney can assist you through the probate administration process, from proving the will, to notifying heirs, completing asset inventory and assessment, filing necessary tax returns, and obtaining court approval.
We are dedicated to helping clients accomplish the necessary probate administration tasks with efficiency and responsiveness. Throughout the process, we keep our clients informed and up-to-date, promptly addressing any concerns or questions, so that they are comfortable with how probate is proceeding and have a full understanding of their rights and obligations along the way.
We can assist with the initial process of convincing the court that the will is authentic. Typically, this is done by providing an affidavit of the will’s attesting witness instead of the witness having to appear in court. If the attesting witness is unavailable, the court may allow proof of the will through testimony or other evidence that the signature of the decedent or at least one of the witnesses is genuine.
Notice of the probate must be provided to heirs and interested parties, as well as known creditors. Public notice of the probate must also be published. We can assist clients with determining who must be notified and providing proper and timely notice as required by Oregon law.
As part of the probate process, an asset inventory must be filed in the court. Northwest Legal can assist with compiling an inventory of the estate and in the valuation of assets. We are experienced in dealing with substantial or unusual assets and are able to obtain necessary appraisals and/or comparative market analyses with diligence and efficiency.
We can assist clients with determining the legal validity of creditor claims. Under Oregon law, creditors have 30 days after notice is mailed to them to file a claim against the estate. If you are having difficulty determining whether creditor claims are legitimate, we can help to evaluate claims and advise creditors whether claims will be allowed or rejected, in whole or in part.
Under Oregon law, the estate tax return is due nine months after the decedent’s death. In addition to state estate taxes, other types of taxes, such as federal estate taxes, income taxes, and property taxes may be due. We can help you to understand the tax implications for the estate and prepare and file the required tax returns.
Northwest Legal is available to provide assistance with ancillary estate matters. An Oregon ancillary estate proceeding is required when a resident of another state dies owning an interest in Oregon real property or has personal property in Oregon that the personal representative refuses to relinquish.
When all the creditors have been paid and the heirs have consented to the distribution of the estate, a final accounting or a statement in lieu of final accounting must be filed with the court. Upon the court’s approval, assets will be distributed to heirs and interested parties. Thereafter, receipts of the distribution must be filed and the estate will be closed.
Even with careful planning and the best of intentions, inheritance disputes sometimes arise, and it is important to have an experienced probate litigation attorney on your side. We represent individuals and families bringing or defending will contests based on undue influence, lack of capacity, or execution formalities. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their rights are being protected and that the true wishes and intentions of their lost loved one are carried out justly and fairly.
Under certain circumstances probate may be avoided in Oregon. If the estate has no more than $75,000 in personal property and no more than $200,000 in real property, a small estate affidavit may be filed.
Based in Eugene, Northwest Legal assists businesses, families, and individuals in Eugene-Springfield and throughout Oregon. We primarily serve communities in Lane, Benton, Linn, and Douglas Counties, including Albany, Corvallis, Florence, Oakridge and Roseburg, Oregon.