What Is Probate?
Probate is the court-supervised transfer of assets from a deceased individual (decedent) to his or her heirs and beneficiaries. Assets are anything a person owns with value, such as real estate, personal property, and cash. The court appoints a personal representative to examine the affairs of a decedent’s estate, and gives the appointed personal representative authority to manage the assets and debts of the estate. Probate court helps ensure an orderly collection of assets, payment of debts and claims, and proper distribution of the estate assets to heirs.If you live in Oregon and you are going through any of these delicate legal issues, Jane Ellis is your best option for a skilled Portland probate lawyer.
When Is Probate Necessary?
In some cases probate is needed in order to clear a title to land, stocks and bonds, or large bank or savings, and loan accounts, and put the title to these assets in the names of the rightful beneficiaries. This is when it becomes time to hire a Portland probate lawyer with plenty of experience and expertise. Probate is also used to collect debts owed to the deceased person, settle a dispute between people who claim they are entitled to assets of the deceased person, and resolve any disputes about the validity of the deceased individual’s will. Estate assets may also be in the possession of someone using those assets contrary to proper winding up of the decedent’s estate, and probate becomes necessary to properly regain control, manage, and distribute those assets.
What happens in Probate?
Probate is initiated by filing a petition with the appropriate Oregon Circuit Court. The court appoints a Personal Representative (Executor) and issues a Letter of Testamentary (for estates with a Will) or a Letter of Administration (for estates that are Intestate) which gives the Personal Representative the authority to manage the assets and debts of the Estate. The Personal Representative notifies interested parties of the Estate proceeding, collects the assets of the Estate, reports the assets to the court, makes an investigation of debts and claims against the Estate, pays valid claims, files tax returns, and does a periodic accounting to the court of the financial transactions within the Estate. When the Estate is ready to close, the Personal Representative does a Final Accounting to the court, obtains a Judgment of Distribution to beneficiaries, distributes the assets to beneficiaries, obtains acknowledgment of receipt from beneficiaries, reports the distribution to and receipt by the beneficiaries, and obtains a judgement closing the Estate.
Call Jane Ellis, one of the top probate lawyers in Portland, after you’ve decided to file with the Oregon Circuit court. You’ll feel at ease when these important, and often personal, legal matters are being handled by a seasoned veteran in the field of probate law.