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Court staff are not permitted to give legal advice, or advise you about which parts need to be filed. Parties should contact an attorney or research the issue themselves.


30 days must pass between death and filing of a small estate. One or more claiming successors (person owed part of the estate assets) of a deceased person may initiate a small estate proceeding where the fair market value of the estate is less than or equal to $275,000.00, of which no more than $75,000.00 may be personal property and not more than $200,000.00 may be real property.

Who can file?

  • One or more of the claiming successors of the decedent.
  • If the decedent died testate, any person named as personal representative in the decedent's will.

Where to file?

The affidavit can be filed with the Circuit Court for:

  • The county in which the decedent died,
  • The county in which the decedent lived or had a home at death, or
  • Any county in which any property of the decedent was located at death or when the affidavit is filed.
  • The Director of Human Services, the Director of the Oregon Health Authority or an attorney approved under ORS 114.517

Claims Against the Estate: see ORS 114.540



A petition for administration of the estate of an absentee may be filed when the whereabouts of the person has been unknown for at least one year and the petitioner believes or has reason to believe the person is deceased.


The petitioner may petition the court for appointment of a special administrator in the initiating petition if the petitioner believes the deceased's assets or remains are in danger of being lost, taken or damaged. A special administrator may be appointed only until the court appoints a permanent personal representative.


The appointed personal representative, special administrator and/or conservator has a legal responsibility to provide the court with periodic information regarding the distribution of estate assets. An annual accounting is filed with the court every year until either all assets have been distributed or until a protected person(s) reaches eighteen (18) years of age, the "age of majority." A final accounting is filed either when all assets have been distributed or a minor(s) reaches the age of eighteen (18).


Parties having claims against a deceased or protected person's estate are required to submit them to the appointed personal representative, special administrator or conservator.