Q: A mother of 3 adult children 1 living with her dies intestate. How do they determine personal representative?
This is an assignment for LAw 105 Estate Administration & Probate Practice; She has three children, two of them live on their own, and one is living with her. The one living with her has made renovations to the residence. The other two children wish to sell the house at market value, not reimbursing the one living with her for these expenses. Can he become the personal representative? How would a case like this be determined? The assignment was given no state to look up the local laws, so I am assuming it would take place in the state I reside in, Oregon.
In Oregon, when a person who dies intestate (with no Will) you must look to ORS 112.045 to determine who the estate goes to. If the decedent had no spouse at her death her three children will split the estate equally (assuming she has no children who have predeceased her and left children of their own).
We look at ORS 113.085 to determine priority in appointing a personal representative. In this case the three children would all have equal priority. Next we look to be sure that none of the children are disqualified (ORS 119.095). If all of the children are qualified to act as personal representative then it is a race to the courthouse, however, whichever child is appointed will need to qualify for a fiduciary Bond (ORS 113.105). This requires a credit check and some people with creditor/bankruptcy or employment issues might not qualify for the Bond. Living in the home and/or being a creditor of the estate goes not disqualify someone from being appointed as personal representative.
You should look up your county Supplementary Local Rules, though, because some counties require the personal representative to hire an attorney to represent them (or prove to the Judge that they are capable of handling the estate pro se).
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