Oregon offers a probate shortcut for "small estates." This makes it easier for survivors to transfer property left by a person who has died. You may be able to transfer a large amount of property using the following probate shortcut -- saving time, money, and hassle.
Oregon has a simplified probate process for small estates. To use it, you (as an inheritor) file a written request with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.
You can use the simplified small estate process in Oregon if the fair market value of the estate is $275,000 or less, and not more than $75,000 of the estate is personal property and not more than $200,000 is real estate. There is a 30-day waiting period. Or. Rev. Stat. § § 114.515 and following.
The request must contain the following information:
You are then responsible for taking possession of the property. Within 30 days, you must give a copy of the request to everyone you identified in the request. You may open a bank account in the estate's name. To the extent that it is possible, you must pay the expenses and claims against the estate in the following order of priority:
As possible, you must pay undisputed claims you listed in the request, allowed claims you receive in the required time, and claims the probate court directs you to pay. You can sell any vehicle and transfer real property (as long as you deposit any funds from a sale to the estate account). Or. Rev. Stat. § § 114.545.
For help determining if an estate qualifies for this probate shortcut, or handling an estate in general, see The Executor's Guide, by Mary Randolph (Nolo) or Estate Planning Basics, by Denis Clifford (Nolo).