Probate is the court process to transfer assets of a decedent to the named beneficiaries under a will or via intestate succession if the decedent did not execute a will. Intestate succession is the statutorily defined default order of beneficiaries

If the assets requiring a probate exceed $200,000 for real property or $75,000 for cash assets and personal property, or the original will is missing, then a full probate is needed. Whereas the simple estate affidavit process can be done relatively quickly, the full probate takes approximately 7-9 months.

If the decedent had a will naming a personal representative, that individual has preference to serve as personal representative. If the decedent did not have a will, then Oregon law defines the order of preference. Once appointed, the court issues Letters Testamentary (if there was a will) or Letters of Administration (if there was not a will). This important document allows the personal representative to conduct business on behalf of the estate.

One of the first duties of the personal representative is to provide required notices as set out in the statute. The personal representative must provide notices to heirs, devisees, the Oregon Department of Human Services, the Oregon Health Authority, and known creditors (e.g. Interested Persons). Notice must be published for three consecutive weeks with the first date of publication starting the four-month creditor waiting period. This gives creditors a chance to file claims against the estate. During this time, the personal representative continues to administer the estate, file additional documents with the court, including the inventory, and prepare any real property for sale. At the end of the waiting period, documents are filed with the court requesting a distribution in accordance with the decedent’s will or intestate succession if there is not a will.

Julia Rice and Daniel Rice work closely with clients to timely file the legal documents with the court, provide the requisite notices, and meet the statutory deadlines. Their training, experience, and caring nature provide the necessary expertise for the probate process. Julia and Daniel are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding probates in Oregon.

Glossary of Terms


“Decedent” means a person who has died. ORS 111.005(8).


“Will” includes codicil and also includes a testamentary instrument that merely appoints a personal representative or that merely revokes or revives another will. ORS 111.005(31).

Intestate Succession

“Intestate succession” means succession to property of a decedent who dies intestate or partially intestate. ORS 111.005(21).


“Intestate” means one who dies without leaving a valid will, or the circumstance of dying without leaving a valid will, effectively disposing of all the estate. ORS 111.005(20).


“Devisee” means a person designated in a will to receive a devise. ORS 111.005(12).


“Heir” means any person who is or would be entitled under intestate succession to property of a person upon that person’s death. ORS 111.005(18).


(a) “Estate” means the real and personal property of a decedent, as from time to time  changed in form by sale, reinvestment, substitutions or otherwise, augmented by any accretions or additions or diminished by any decreases or distributions.

(b) “Estate” includes tangible and intangible personal property of a decedent domiciled in Oregon, wherever the property is situated. ORS 111.005(15).

Personal Representative

“Personal representative” includes executor, administrator, administrator with will annexed and administrator de bonis non, but does not include special administrator. ORS 111.005(26). In other words, the personal representative is the person who is appointed in the will or by the court to administer the decedent’s estate.

Interested Person

“Interested person” includes heirs, devisees, children, spouses, creditors and any others having a property right or claim against the estate of a decedent that may be affected by the proceeding. “Interested person” also includes fiduciaries representing interested persons. ORS 111.005(19).