Renton, WA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oregon

Q: A court appointment PR is only handling bank funds, and making the family divide personal property, says he'll sell...?

We were issued an outside PR because we could not agree. But our PR is only handling the actual $ he says personal property, computers, rolex's, etc are for us to divide and figure out. IF we cannot deal with personal property between us, he says he will sell everything at an estate sale and give us the $$ from it. This doesn't seem right. I thought the PR was to be the middle man to ensure everything is split 50/50. Shouldn't he put a value to each item on a list and give us the opportunity to go thru the list? Also he did not ask for any mail that my father received in his name (he died in Dec.) and has received a ton of debt paperwork etc. I feel like my PR is heavily lacking! Without a lawyer myself, who can I speak with about this? Write in to the court? HELP

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3 Lawyer Answers
Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: If you and your family cannot agree on the division of the decedent's tangible personal property then the Personal Representative will likely sell it and divide the cash. You should send any mail your father has received to the Personal Representative. You do not have to wait for him to ask for it. If you end up with additional questions I recommend you hire your own attorney to give you advice.

Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: The PR is likely following the terms of the Will. A typical clause for person property is that the heirs will divide it as they can agree or if they can't agree then the PR will decide. He sounds like he is correctly following that protocol. I highly suggest you work on an agreement with your family members or accept money and then you can buy stuff with the money.

The PR is being paid for his services and settling disputes over low value personal property would probably cost the estate too much money. So the PR is right, he has a duty not to run up his bill for fees by taking the cheapest route possible.

As for the mail, typically the PR will apply to have all mail forwarded but that applies to future mail and it can take weeks for the forwarding to start. In the meantime you should deliver all the mail you have concerning your father to the PR.

Frankly, the less fuss you make the more money you will get. The more fuss you make the more the estate will be eaten up with fees and costs. Pick your battles carefully.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: What you described is exactly how it is typically done.

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