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Oregon Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oregon on
Q: Is a will that is handwritten in Oregon, signed by the testator and notarized valid?

There was another witness present who was said to inherit almost everything according to the will, but that person did not sign. The only signatures on the paper is the testator and notary.

Vincent J. Bernabei
Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Jul 12, 2021

It is now possible under Oregon's "harmless error" statute that a written document that is not signed in the presence of, and by two qualified witnesses may be a valid will.

The question is whether there is clear and convincing evidence that the testator intended the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Am I entitled to see my mom’s legal estate papers that my two sisters had drawn up? I’ve been her live in caretaker

…for years & now neither Mom nor I know what siblings have drawn up & had her sign. How can I compel them to give Mom & I copies-they have refused.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 12, 2021

You are not entitled to copies of your mother's estate planning documents while she is still alive, but your mother is entitled to not only copies but the originals. If she does not know what she signed, then she should demand the originals and read them or have an attorney help her... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Energy, Oil and Gas for Oregon on
Q: Could I Sue my family for not turning over my mother's land and mineral to her children that she inherited after she die

My Grandmother's Mother passed left, which left my grand mother land and mineral. My grandmother passed which My mother then inherited some land and minerals. My mother's brothers and sister decide not to let her children know they inherited land and minerals so the kids never got any... Read more »

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Jul 7, 2021

It sounds like you have a complicated question with several moving parts. I recommend you bring in all the information you have and meet with an experienced probate attorney who can let you know your rights in this situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Will a personal guarantee survive the death of guarantor and can full debt be collected from his estate?
Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Jun 9, 2021

All valid debts (claims) will be paid through an Oregon probate. The validity of the debt will be evaluated by the Personal Representative. If a claim is disallowed by the Personal Representative the creditor can ask for a hearing and the Probate Judge will determine the validity of the claim.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oregon on
Q: My mom's estate is in Probate (Oregon). I Plan to sell her house. Am I required to first have it appraised?

Q: I'm told that I need to prove to the probate judge that I sold it for a price that was fair as of the date of death. Is that true? Can i do that without an appraisal?

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on May 17, 2021

If you are Personal Representative for your mother's estate you should ask your attorney this question. In general you can have a realtor create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for you or you can pay for the property to be appraised. However, there are a lot of fact-specific issues in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oregon on
Q: My farther passed away with no will I have two siblings that are his wife's and I have a different mom Oregon law

States if we all have the some parents she gets all because I have a different mom she gets half and I get the other half is this right

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 4, 2021

When a person dies leaving a surviving spouse and children, at least one of whom is not by the surviving spouse then the surviving spouse gets half and the decedent’s children ( all of them, not just you) share the other half equally.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Can you pay a nursing home from a irrevocable trust?

My husband and I are in our 60's and in good health, but looking towards our next chapter, we don't have many assets, just a home and car, but want to have our ducks in a row in case of disease, or dementia. I don't want our children to be burdened with any long term care in the... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Apr 29, 2021

The whole point of an IRREVOCABLE trust is you are giving up access to principal (and sometimes income as well), so no, YOU would not have access to the principal to use to pay nursing home expenses. However, depending on exactly how the trust is designed, you might have indirect access to the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Hello :-) My mom received a $30k cashiers check sent from her brother (executor of trust) from the sale of their

deceased parents home back in Sept 2019 while living in a care home. I wasn't aware of this check until recently. My mom just passed away a few weeks ago and I just found out that the check hasn't been cashed or found. Her brother, my uncle, said that his attorney said the check has to... Read more »

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Apr 28, 2021

I recommend you have a probate attorney review this for you. Your attorney will need to see your grandparents' Trust. Very likely since your mother survived her parents but never cashed the distribution check her estate should now get the check (or a new one re-issued by the Trustee). Your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: If you are living in a cohabitation relationship in oregon, can your partner benefit upon the death of the other

If not in the will?

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Apr 23, 2021

Oregon does not recognize common law marriage. If you are not legally married or registered domestic partners then you must be included in the Will to receive anything with some exceptions:

You are a co-owner or payable-on-death/transfer-on-death beneficiary (for example, on a...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Collections and Probate for Oregon on
Q: Mother in-law deceased 4.18.2020. All known debts paid. 8 months after Medicare trying to collect debt.can they?
Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Mar 17, 2021

It's likely that you have been contacted by Medicaid (not Medicare) because your mother-in-law was receiving public benefits to pay for her long-term care. I recommend you schedule an appointment with an experienced probate attorney to review the claim and advise you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Death benefit was sent under different contract numbers months apart is that legal.?

I received death benefit claim packet from accordia and athene under two different contract numbers not specifying that they were Ira accounts. Then a couple months later I received two more still not specifying they were Ira accounts. Then come to find out after the third that it was all one... Read more »

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Mar 8, 2021

Athene Annuity sold most of its life insurance business to Accordia in 2013 but continued to administer the business until Accordia took over in 2015. Maybe this was part of the confusion for the IRA you inherited? I'm not entirely sure of your question. I recommend you call the Customer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Is there anyone that is excluded from being a per rep or trustee to an estate if the named rep declines? (Oregon)

My brother declined to be per rep and trustee to my fathers estate. Are there any parties that excluded from taking his place?

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Feb 22, 2021

It sounds like your father had a Revocable Living Trust. If your brother is named as Successor Trustee but has declined to do this job then your father's Trust likely names the next person who should act as Successor Trustee. If it doesn't name a second person then there should be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oregon on
Q: My mom named the youngest sibling the executor of her will. Can he do what he wants with the property?

There are 3 siblings and the youngest was named executor. She listed a few things that were to go to each of us in her will. I'm curious as to what happens with her real estate as it wasn't mentioned to whom it goes to. She wasn't married at time of death. Does the executor get to... Read more »

Vincent J. Bernabei
Vincent J. Bernabei answered on Feb 11, 2021

A personal representative (or executor) is someone who handles the deceased person’s affairs. A will generally names a personal representative who, if willing to serve and otherwise qualified, will be approved by the probate court.

If your mother owned the real estate in her individual...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: If my husband had a POA prior to us being married, is that persona still his POA?

My mother in law is my husbands POA and it was filed several years ago. Since it was filed we have married, who has the legal rights her or me?

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Feb 5, 2021

Powers of Attorney don't get "filed" in Oregon. Assuming the Power of Attorney has no expiration date, it remains in effect until the Principal revokes it or dies. Marrying does not automatically give you fiduciary authority over your husband.

If your husband would like to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Health Care Law, Elder Law and Probate for Oregon on
Q: Is it possible to hire an executor, health agent, etc. to assist me with my end of life planning?

I am trying to get ready to plan for end of life, but have no one to appoint as a health care proxy, medical/patient advocate, executor, or digital fiduciary.

I have no spouse, siblings, or children. My friends are older than me, living out-of-state, and/or would not be up to the task of... Read more »

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Feb 2, 2021

Yes, this is absolutely possible and good for you for doing your advance planning. You can start by looking at the Guardian Conservator Association of Oregon https://www.gcaoregon.org/practitioners. You can also hire an experienced estate planning attorney who will give you referrals to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for Oregon on
Q: Q: I am 63, and downsized to a rental when my husband passed. I want to relocate to FL and plan to purchase a single

family home. I plan to put between $60k-$100k towards a down payment but i want it in my two young adult children name. In other words, I will be a tenant to them... They will be the ones to benefit tax write offs... which is okey with me, also if something has to happen to me, that eliminates... Read more »

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Jan 27, 2021

I am only licensed to practice in Oregon so I can't speak to Florida law but in general it is better for your children to inherit your property because they receive a stepped-up basis. This means when they inherit your house after your death their new basis in the property is your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: Is an Affidavit of trust the same as a Cetificate of trust?

Dad passed away and he had a trust. He and mom were in memory care for years and went through all of their savings and were on Medicaid their last years. All they have left now is about $1,400 in a checking account. I am trustee of their trust but the bank won't let me take the money without... Read more »

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Jan 22, 2021

Yes, they are the same but your parents' Affidavit of Trust is no longer accurate because you are the Trustee. I agree that paying for an hour of time from an attorney will solve your problem, however, be sure to speak with an attorney who understand Medicaid Estate Recovery.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oregon on
Q: I have a simple will and have named an executor. How do I make sure small household items go to specific people?

I was told that some states require you to itemize even small things in the actual will, otherwise they will all be sold & money distributed. Some things are sentimental rather than valuable. In Oregon, is it sufficient to just provide the executor with a list of items & who they should... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 2, 2021

You don't have to rewrite your will every time, but you do need to write it once to refer to a personal property memorandum that you can then add to or change at any time and from time to time. Here is the statute:

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/112.260

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Oregon on
Q: does the wife get the house her husband owned before marriage if he passes away by law, or can he leave it to children

this is in Oregon. My senior dad married someone who wants a lot of things...formerly my brother and I were to inherit the family home of some 40 years, now he says by law she owns half and she will sell it to buy herself a triple wide trailer if he dies. He claims 50/50 laws in Oregon make it so,... Read more »

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Dec 28, 2020

If your father added his wife to the Deed then the property is likely to go to her at his death. If he did not add her to the Deed then the property will go according to his Will. However, if he leaves his wife out completely then she has a right to claim a percentage of his estate (5% - 33%... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Oregon on
Q: if you have a will you move to Oregon does that the will stand?

Step mom took dad off the house title can she do that because the will that once my stepmom is gone it's supposed to be split 6 ways she still alive but she put her daughter's name the house

Theressa Hollis
Theressa Hollis answered on Oct 26, 2020

Your Will is valid in any state as long as your Will is valid in the state in which you signed it. I am unable to answer your question about your father and step-mother's house because I do not have enough information. I recommend you meet with a probate attorney for the answer to that question.

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