Oregon Probate Checklist

This is an overview of common tasks that a personal representative, executor, or executrix may need to complete for probate in Oregon. For a more detailed Oregon probate checklist, contact us here, as everyone’s situation is different.

1. Get a copy of the Death Certificate, along with the Will, Trusts, or any estate planning documents as soon as possible.

2.  Forward the mail with the Postal Service of any business or personal of your loved one. You want to be sure to review the mail regularly for bills and other important documents that are coming in.

3.  Secure the house and belongings of your loved one. This one gets overlooked quite often, as estate solutions can be stressful! We recommend changing the locks immediately and checking on the property regularly. You may not know all the people that have access to the property and personal belongings. Contact us for a reputable locksmith referral.

4.  If the probate house or buildings are vacant, be sure to obtain a “vacant insurance policy” to protect the assets. Many times, the current policy will no longer be in effect after death. This can be very important and often overlooked. If you need any assistance with the property contact us. We have many preferred vendors to assist you with locks, yard work, repairs, vacant house insurance, and more.

5.  Decide on a probate attorney for representation. You may not be required to hire a probate attorney in all cases, but we can refer you to good Oregon probate attorneys. 

6.  Next, you will want to find out if you need to file for a probate petition or a small estate affidavit. Then, if a small estate affidavit cannot be filed, you will want to have a Probate Petition drafted (on your own or with an attorney). Once it is finalized and signed, the Probate Petition is filed in the county courthouse where your loved one lived. This probate petition provides information about them, their heirs, and their assets. The court can then approve the Probate Petition and grant Letters Testamentary. 

7.  The Letters Testamentary will allow you to begin collecting the loved one’s assets and open a new bank account for the estate.  Without the Letters Testamentary, the banks and financial advisors will not provide detailed information about their accounts or help you identify assets.  This is very important.

8.  You will need to collect all documents including car titles, stock & bond certificates, bank and investment accounts, and life insurance policies. Locate any safe deposit boxes the deceased may have as well.

9.  Collect any documents that prove ownership of real estate. If necessary, you can obtain deeds from the local county. Contact us with any questions about real estate. 

10.  Prepare and publish a notice in a newspaper informing the public that the loved one has passed. This is required in the State of Oregon as it gives creditors an opportunity to make their claims against the estate. There is a 4 month waiting period from the time the newspaper notice is published.

11.  Once the waiting period is complete and all the assets are gathered, an accounting can be prepared and filed with the court. Once you have court approval, the assets will be distributed according to the terms of the Will. If there is no will, then the assets will be distributed according to Oregon statutes.  We are here to assist you with estate solutions.

If you have questions about any steps in the process, please contact us.  We are here to help!  You can reach Erik Gerth directly at 503-770-0492.