Probate is the legal process that takes place with the court after someone’s death and its main purpose is to transfer ownership of your assets when they do not transfer automatically by operation of law or by the designation of a beneficiary. However, probates also make sure that all your assets are identified and distributed as you requested in your estate planning documents and it is the process in which your debts are paid after you are gone as well. Probates can be easier and cheaper to administer if you have planned ahead with proper estate planning.
Probate can be avoided all together in certain situations. Establishing an effective trust, making beneficiary designations for assets when that option is available and holding assets jointly with a spouse all help avoid probate after your death.
Probate is a court proceeding which is very particular and driven by Oregon law. There is always a person appointed to administer the probate on behalf of the deceased person. This person is now called a personal representative but was commonly called an executor or executrix before. If this person does not administer the probate precisely in line with the law, they can be exposed to personal liability for their mistakes and can greatly increase the time and money it takes to distribute your assets to your heirs and beneficiaries. A probate attorney can guide and assist a personal representative in the process to avoid these undesirable outcomes.
I am a professional fiduciary in Central Oregon and have been working in the legal community here for over 28 years. I have worked with Collin on several probate and guardianship/conservatorship matters. He is always responsive to my questions and highly effective in getting the results I need for my business. He is also just an all-around good person! I highly recommend him for his legal services!
"I am from Hawaii and I worked with Collin on a probate matter in Oregon for my in-laws. Collin was very supportive, always in contact with us, easy to work with, and had very helpful, clear and understandable explanations. I highly recommend him and I would use him again."