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Who should file the small estate affidavit?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Estate Planning |

If someone dies in Oregon, their estate often enters probate, allowing the court to facilitate its distribution to heirs and beneficiaries. This process is standard, but there is a quicker option for estates that meet specific value limitations, also called small estate proceedings.

This option can only be applicable if the estate’s value doesn’t exceed $275,000, with a maximum of $75,000 in personal property and a maximum of $200,000 in real property. Someone must file a small estate affidavit to begin the process if eligible. However, only select parties can file this document, including the following:

  • Heir: This person has legal rights to a portion of the estate.
  • Devisee: Any party not necessarily an heir but the deceased mentioned them in their will to receive part of the estate.
  • Personal representative: This party, often named in the will, serves as the estate’s executor.
  • Creditor: This is any party, whether individual or an organization, that has claims to any portion of the estate because the deceased has unpaid debts.

Sometimes, the filing party needs additional paperwork authorizing them to file the affidavit for the estate. Other circumstances might also cause complications, affecting the party’s eligibility to file the document. In these situations, seeking legal counsel and learning about options might help.

Meeting other requirements can be challenging

Aside from eligibility factors imposed on the estate, other requirements might be necessary based on what type of role the filing party has. Additionally, vague family connections could muddle who should file the affidavit. This option may still be more straightforward than the standard probate process, but it could significantly depend on the estate and its details. Sometimes, the best way to address these issues is by consulting an attorney and preparing a comprehensive estate plan before death.