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How do I initiate probate after a loved one passes away?

When a person passes away, they leave behind their loved ones and also what is known as their estate.  Their estate includes all their individually owned assets.   If minor children are involved, guardians and custodians need to appointed to protect their best interests.   The process to settle their affairs is known as probate.  If someone dies with a will, we ask the probate court to admit the will and follow the instructions in the will.  If someone dies without a will, the probate court will look to Oregon rules of intestacy to determine how assets will be distributed.  ​


We know that this is a difficult time.  Our process ensures that we address your immediate concerns while efficiently guiding you through the probate process.  We are here to guide you each step of the way.​​

The Probate Process

1. Consultation

Meet to get to know each other.  Discuss your immediate concerns.   Explain our estate administration process. Determine if we are a good fit to work together.

2. Initiate Probate

File Petition with Probate court.  Coordinate purchase of bond, if required

3. Appointment of Personal Representative

Begin marshaling assets of the estate, prepare notices, open estate checking account

4. Inventory

Prepare and file an inventory of the assets of the estate

5. Creditors

Identify any creditors and pay debts of the estate 

6. Taxes

Coordinate with tax accountant or CPA to prepare and file tax returns

7. Distribution

Distribute remaining assets of the estate to beneficiaries

8. Close Probate

Wrap up final loose ends and file the order to close the estate.

“Hernandez and Associates, especially Audrey Tam, with whom I worked most closely, did a splendid job at helping an inexperienced personal representative complete the probate of my brother's estate.”

Judy Z.

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