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Small Estate Affidavit in Oregon: Probate, Simplified

Introduction to Oregon Small Estate Affidavits

Probate can be a lengthy and complicated process, especially when it comes to transferring the assets of a deceased individual to their intended beneficiaries. However, the probate code in Oregon offers a simpler and more efficient method for transferring property in certain cases. This is known as the small estate affidavit process, which is available for estates with certain monetary limits.

Under the small estate affidavit procedure, the transfer of personal property and real property can be handled through the filing of an affidavit with the probate clerk. This avoids the need for a full probate process and can save time and money. However, it is worth noting that a personal representative can still be appointed for property within the monetary limits of the small estate affidavit procedure, as long as the appointment is sought within four months of the affidavit filing.

The small estate affidavit procedure is quicker and easier than probate.

Small Estate Affidavit Eligibility in Oregon

In Oregon, small estate affidavits are governed by ORS 114.505 through ORS 114.560. To qualify for a small estate affidavit in Oregon, the estate must meet the following criteria:

  • The value of the estate must not exceed $275,000. This includes any real estate, personal property, and cash or securities that the deceased owned at the time of their death.
  • The deceased must have died at least 30 days prior to the filing of the affidavit.
  • The affidavit must be filed within 180 days of the deceased’s death.
  • There must not be any pending probate proceedings for the estate.

Consider Safe Deposit Boxes

It is important to note that if the decedent was the sole or last surviving lessee of a safe deposit box at the time of their death, the contents of the box must be taken into consideration when determining whether the estate meets the monetary limits for the small-estate affidavit procedure. If the estate does qualify, the value of the contents of the box must be stated in the affidavit.

Who Can File a Small Estate Affidavit in Oregon?

There are several individuals who are eligible to file a small-estate affidavit in Oregon. These include any of the decedent’s claiming successors, any person named as personal representative in the decedent’s will, the Director of Human Services or the director’s designee if the decedent received certain public assistance or care at an institution, and any creditor of the decedent. It is also possible for multiple individuals to file a joint affidavit.

The Small Estate Affidavit Process

To begin the process of transferring assets using a small estate affidavit in Oregon, the following steps must be followed:

  1. Gather all necessary documentation, including the death certificate, a list of the deceased’s assets and their values, and any documents related to the transfer of the assets (such as a will or trust).
  2. Prepare the small estate affidavit, which is a sworn statement signed by the person responsible for distributing the assets (called the “affiant”). The affidavit must include information about the deceased, the value of the estate, and the names and addresses of the beneficiaries.
  3. Have the affidavit notarized. This can typically be done at a bank or other financial institution.
  4. File the affidavit with the county where the deceased lived at the time of their death. This can typically be done at the county courthouse or online through the Oregon Judicial Department’s eCourt website.
  5. Provide copies of the affidavit to any financial institutions or other parties that hold assets belonging to the deceased. These parties will then release the assets to the beneficiaries listed in the affidavit.

Required Information for a Small Estate Affidavit

The small estate affidavit must include certain information, such as the decedent’s name and date of death, the names and addresses of the decedent’s successors, a description of the property being transferred, and the fair-market value of the property. It must also be signed by the affiant, who must swear or affirm that the information contained in the affidavit is true and correct to the best of their knowledge.

Streamlining the Transfer of Assets with a Small Estate Affidavit

Overall, the small-estate affidavit procedure in Oregon can provide a quicker and more streamlined way to transfer the assets of a deceased individual to their intended beneficiaries. It is important to carefully consider whether this procedure is applicable in a particular situation and to ensure that all necessary information is included in the affidavit to avoid any potential issues or delays in the transfer of property.

It’s important to note that small estate affidavits are most appropriate for simple estates with no disputes among the beneficiaries. If the estate is more complex or there are disputes among the beneficiaries, it may be necessary to go through the probate process. An attorney can help determine the appropriate course of action for a particular estate.

Soriano Law – Salem, OR Small Estate Affidavit Attorney

If you are in the process of settling an estate in Oregon and are looking for an efficient way to transfer assets, consider using the small estate affidavit procedure. At Soriano Law, our team is knowledgeable about this option and can help you determine if it is applicable in your situation. We can also assist you with preparing and filing the necessary affidavit and ensuring that the process goes smoothly. Don’t hesitate to call us today to learn more about how we can help you with the transfer of assets in Oregon.

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