Seattle, WA asked in Probate for Oregon

Q: I am confused about the Oregon Small Estate Affidavit. It does not allow you to set up estate account, pay bills, etc.

Our mother passed and because her real estate was less than 200k and other assets minimal, we filed a Small Estate Affidavit in Oregon. There was a will listing us children as beneficiaries of all assets and specifying one of us as Executor. However, now we realize that this Small Estate process does not appoint a Personal Representative or issue a Letter of Administration. We have received checks that go to the estate and bills that need to be paid, but cannot open an estate bank account - the banks require a Letter of Administration. Even the Small Estate Affidavit form specifies our obligation to carry out these actions, yet the court will not issue a Letter of Administration because we filed a Small Estate Affidavit. What is the purpose of a Small Estate Affidavit if it will not allow these basic things to be taken care of, not to mention transferring ownership of the real estate? What am I missing here?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: You are correct that Oregon's small estate procedure does not result in the appointment of a Personal Representative or issuance of Letters Testamentary. All you receive is a certified copy of the Affidavit of Claiming Successor (Small Estate Affidavit). Banks in Oregon are supposed to honor this document and allow you to open an estate account but they often do not. Try a smaller local credit union or bank. If you cannot find a financial institution that will open an account you may be stuck filing a full probate.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.