Oregon Wills, Trusts, and Probate
Drafting a coherent and well-mapped estate plan will ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. An estate plan is personalized for you and may, but does not have to include, documents such as a will, trust, advanced care directive, healthcare surrogate designation, and/or inter vivos trust. It does not matter what your family situation or your age, it is imperative to revise these documents whenever something significant happens in your life (retirement, marriage, death, birth, or incapacity). An Oregon estate planning attorney can be helpful in preparing and updating your estate plan.
An Oregon probate court may not admit an erroneously worded will to probate. As a result of erroneous language, your money and property may not be disbursed exactly according to your plan. To create a proper will in Oregon, you need:
If you are not sure about requirements for a proper Oregon will, or if you want to be sure that all the legal formalities and requirements have been met in drafting your will, contact an Oregon wills attorney to aid in your preparation of your will and other estate plan documents.
Changing a Will in Oregon
To change your Oregon will: Execute a codicil with amendments or additions to your will, or physically destroy (by burning, obliterating, or tearing) your will and create a new will in its place that will control. Discuss any changes or amendments to your will with an Oregon will attorney who specializes in drafting wills to ensure that the changes meet the requisite legal formalities and requirements for a proper will in Oregon.
You may want to consider utilizing a trust instrument to dispense with your money and property after your death. Trusts are adaptable, private, and can save you money on estate taxes and probate costs. In addition, trusts may be constructed for many purposes and in many forms, such as: charitable trusts, educational trusts, living trusts, life insurance trusts, etc. Trusts can also be either revocable or irrevocable, depending on what you prefer. To get more information on setting up a trust, or for assistance, speak to an Oregon trusts lawyer.
Property that a testator mentions in his will must be admitted to probate before it can be disbursed. Oregon law decides what to do with property not mentioned in the will, or with the property of a decedent who does not leave a will, based on the degree of relationship each potential beneficiary has to the decedent. This method of distribution is called intestate succession.
It may be unclear who should inherit property distributed according to intestate succession, or property allocated with ambiguous language in a testator’s will. As such, any interested party may petition the probate court for a definitive answer regarding to whom the property should be dispersed, and in what amounts.
Oregon provides for simplified probate procedures if the decedent’s estate is worth $200,000 or less, not more than $50,000 of which is personal property and $150,000 of which is real property.
In Oregon, the following relationships are significant in determining who has an interest in an estate that passes by intestate succession:
The terms of a will may be disputed even after a will’s creation. Because a dispute over the terms is possible, you should seek advice from an Oregon probate lawyer if you have questions about the durability of the provisions in your will.
Oregon Revised Statutes, Chp. 112 – Oregon Probate Code