100% full benefit disabled veteran father with two adult children. Other relatives, my Grandma and Uncle. No property other than a decent amount of monetary assets. However, he had a mandated rep professional payee for 18 years, if that matters. Also, no debts that I am aware of.
What are the criteria for estates to need or not need probate? Also, will the fact that all his surviving family live in a different state (Washington) make things more complicated with taxes?
Thank you so much for any help!
Family Law Attorney
I'm sorry to hear that your father passed away. If he had only "monetary" assets in his sole name at the time of his death and there was no will, his children will get his entire estate, equally. This sounds like either a Small Estate Probate, which takes about 2 months, or a simple, regular probate, which takes my office about 5 months to complete. Four of those months are just waiting for the "statutory waiting period" to run. You might want to read two articles about Probate before you meet with a probate attorney: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/probate-in-oregon----part-1, http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/probate-in-oregon---part-2 Good luck, Diane
Be sure to designate "best answer." Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 27 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.
I'm sorry to hear about the death of your father. Just to clarify, the point of the administration of an estate is ultimately to transfer assets from your father's estate to those persons who are now lawfully entitled to have these assets. There are a lot of ways this can happen. These assets may be subject to claims that have to be paid before the net assets can be distributed. The legal tools (like probate or a small estate) are used or not used depending upon what needs to happen to make this transfer occur. I recommend that you consult an attorney experienced in Oregon probate and estate planning law to confidentially sort out what needs to happen with regard to the assets in your mother's estate and the best way to make it happen.
Estate Planning Attorney
If the monetary assets were held in payable on death accounts then probate may not be necessary. If the accounts did not have a payable on death beneficiary, then small estate affidavit may be used or a full probate may be necessary. I agree with Diane's response concerning the timelines and would add that 5 months for a probate is the minimum time it will take, there is no maximum.
The fact that some family lives in Washington won't complicate matters from a tax perspective. For the most part the recipient of an inheritance doesn't pay taxes on the property they receive.
At the very least, you (I assume you are one of the decedent's children) should consult with an attorney to make sure that you take the right steps to deal with this matter.