The probate process in Oregon is emotionally draining already, but it can also be expensive for those who do not take care to minimize costs. There are some basic ways to cut down on the price tag for probation as well as speed it up.
The best way to cut probate costs is to make plans in advance to avoid them. As with most estate planning issues, the answer is in creating a trust. Revocable living trusts are trusts that you can make while you are alive, and you can make yourself the trustee. Transfer any assets you want to pass down into the trust and write out the beneficiaries. Any property in the trust does not go through probate and is more protected from disputes. Tax-free gifts and payable-on-death bank accounts are good ways to transfer more liquid assets.
To avoid disputes and problems with assets that do go through probate, make sure that the beneficiary names are fully up to date on everything from retirement assets to wills and insurance policies. Choose the beneficiary that you want, not your own estate. The named beneficiary on an asset will always override a designation inside a will, which can cause unexpected problems. It is also important to ensure that no assets have leftover beneficiaries, like an ex spouse.
Anything that can open an asset’s inheritance up for dispute is a potential way to make probate longer and more costly. This can reduce the value of the estate as well as extend the time until the heirs can actually access and use the assets for whatever they need.