Portland, OR asked in Probate for Oregon

Q: Mother passed away in California but I live un Oregon, do Oregon probate laws apply and if so what is the process?

Im trying to close her credit union account in california, the credit union does not have any branches in oregon and operates solely in california

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4 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Probate takes place in the jurisdiction where the person was domiciled (which is usually the same as their permanent residence) when he or she died. For example, if your mother's permanent residence was in California and she died in California, then probate would be in California (same county as her permanent residence). If your mother lived in California but died in a hospital in Oregon, probate would still be in California. It makes no difference where the decedent's heirs are located. It is very common for heirs to be out of state.

Tammy Lyn Wincott agrees with this answer

Tammy Lyn Wincott
Tammy Lyn Wincott
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • San Antonio, TX

A: The jurisdiction would be CA. You may still live out of the state and probate the case in CA.

Joanne Reisman
Joanne Reisman
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You just need to contact an Attorney in California who handles probate. However every state has short cuts that may apply to this type of situation so you may not actually need to probate this estate to deal with a single bank account. But a California probate Attorney should also be able to tell you about any short cuts. Do your home work. You don't want to get sucked into paying for an expensive probate if it isn't necessary. (For example Oregon Law allows for an heir to file an affidavit with a bank and take possession of a bank account if the balance is below a certain amount. Oregon also have a procedure called a small estate affidavit that allows you to do a simplified probate of sort. Be sure to research whether California also has these types of less expensive procedures before you commit to a probate.)

Incidentally Ms. Whitehurst's statement that: "Probate takes place in the jurisdiction where the person was domiciled (which is usually the same as their permanent residence) when he or she died." is not exactly correct. It's true that probate often does take place where someone was domiciled but it is equally true that probate can be filed in the State where property of the decedent is located. This is particularly true when someone owns real estate in a state other then where they were living at the time of their death. Only the State where real estate is located and adjudicate rights related to the real estate so the probate would instead be file where the real estate is located.

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

A: Sometimes two probates are required: the main probate where the decedent lived and an ancillary probate in every other state where the decedent owned property. In your case, however, it sounds like your mother lived in California and the account was in California, so the entire process would take place in California. If the size of her estate is small enough, you might be able to collect the account with a simple small estate affidavit. But, yes, you will have to either drive to a branch in California to present the affidavit, or you might be able to mail it to them. Call first to get the correct name and address. An attorney can help you determine if a small estate affidavit will work.

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