In this article, you will learn about what probate is, whether probate is needed, and what the probate process is in the state of Oregon.
One of the first questions following someone's death is whether or not there will be a probate proceeding. Probate is the court supervised process that results in a court validating someone's will or determining that someone without one.
This article will explain how the probate process works in Oregon and when probate is needed.
In probate, the court will appoint someone called the Personal Representative to all aspects of the your estate. During probate, your assets are located and inventoried, taxes and debts are paid, and the remaining assets of the estate is distributed.
When is probate needed?
Unless you have properly planned to avoid probate, your estate will generally need to go through the probate process. If you do not have a will or trust, the following are generally subject to probate:
Property titled only in your name
Property owned as "tenants in common" or property owned without survivorship provisions
Shares of a business
Non-titled property including household items, jewelry, furniture, clothing, and other general items
What does not need to go through Probate?
Certain assets and property do not have to go through probate if prior planning was completed. You can avoid probate for the following with proper planning.
Assets owned jointly or with survivorship provisions. Property titled jointly with the right of survivorship automatically go to the surviving party at your passing. In Oregon, real property jointly by a married couple is presumed to be held with survivorship rights and the real property automatically goes to the surviving spouse. This type of ownershp is also known as "tenants in the entirety".
Assets that permit beneficiary desigations. Naming a beneficiary on permissible assets can allow your loved one to avoid probate. Examples include life insurance policies, certain bank accounts and investment accounts.
Assets owned by a Living Trust. Since the trust owns the assets inside the trust, anything in your can pass to your beneficiares without probate.
Transfer on Death (TOD) or Payable on Death (POD). You may title certain assets such as bank accounts, certain real estate, financial accounts,vehicles etc as POD or TOD to bypass probate and transfer the asset directly to your beneficiary.