In our system, deceased people no longer own property, and cannot protect their legal interests. Someone needs to be put in the place of the deceased person to deal with their legal matters such as selling property, paying debts, and finalizing legal matters which arose prior to the person’s death.
The process of appointing a living person to handle the affairs of a deceased person is called probate. The court appoints a representative (known as a “personal representative” “executor” or “administrator”) to stand in the shoes of the deceased person to finalize that person’s legal affairs. The appointed representative has the power to do all of this.
If there is a will, the representative follows the terms of the will. If there is no will, the representative follows the law in place for such situations. When someone dies without a will, they are “intestate.”
Probate proceedings are usually local to where the deceased person owned property or died. A Bend Oregon Attorney is uniquely situated to advise surviving family and loved ones regarding the probate process. Our Central Oregon law firm is here to help you during this difficult time.
The property a deceased person leaves behind is known as their “estate.” Depending upon the size of the estate, certain streamlined procedures may be available to you. A Small Estate Affidavit is one such procedure. However, even though the estate may qualify for the streamlined procedure, it may not always be in the best interest of the estate or beneficiaries to use it. You should obtain legal advice prior to making this critical decision. A Bend probate attorney or Central Oregon probate attorney is critical in this process.
Legal fees and costs in probate cases usually come from the deceased person’s estate. Typically, the cost up front to you is minimal. Call our Central Oregon law firm for details.
Perhaps a loved one had a claim for personal injury prior to their death. Many times, the negligence of another person caused the death. A Bend probate lawyer can coordinate with a personal injury attorney to make sure that important deadlines are not missed.
Unfortunately, family conflicts frequently arise after the death of a loved one. An experienced Bend divorce attorney with probate knowledge can certainly be your best choice for a probate lawyer in these situations.
Our firm has handled many probates, large and small. We are here to help you in this difficult time.
Legal terms can be confusing. Consult our probate glossary for further information.