Father died intestate in Washington State and owned real estate in Jackson County, Oregon. In 2014, property was appraised at $240,000. He had no other assets or property anywhere else. Do I open probate in Washington or Oregon or both? Only two children; no spouse and no other biological or legal or any other type of heir. What is the timeline to settle this estate?
I couldn't give you specific legal advice without knowing the details. Generally, it's best to open probate as soon as possible to avoid a host of potential problems including tax issues, losing important information, safeguarding property, and transferring property to the heirs. In the past, when I've represented estates where the decedent owned out of state property, I've opened probate in the state in which the decedent resided and opened ancillary proceedings in the state in which the property was located. As I said, the answer depends on the details so I'd suggest you consult a qualified probate lawyer promptly.
Really, the timeline to settle an estate is largely based on creditors, getting the real property title transferred, closing out all bank accounts, and taking care of all estate matters. Sounds like you need to open probate in WA and have ancillary probate in OR but you might check with an OR counsel to see if it can be handled by OR probate. Since there is no real property in WA, might be an option. In WA, you can open probate for a resident or non-resident and I've handled ancillary probates in WA where there was real property but the person died out of state. There will possibly be a need to file an estate federal tax return as well so consult with an OR or WA attorney to assist.
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