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Duties of a Personal Representative

A personal representative undertakes serious duties and responsibilities that are required by the laws of Oregon. A personal representative ("PR") must:

  • Take immediate control of and safeguard the decedent's property. The property of the estate is the PR's responsibility until it is distributed.

  • Open a separate bank account in the PR's name as personal representative. Keep all money, bank accounts, and other property of the estate separate from the PR's own and all other persons' property.

  • Notify the heirs and beneficiaries of the will (if a will has been filed) of the PR's address and the PR's attorney's name and address. File a copy of this notice and proof of mailing with the court.

  • File with the court an inventory of all of the property in the estate with estimates of the value of the items listed. The inventory must be filed within 60 days after the date of appointment, unless the court grants an extension of time.

  • Get a receipt or keep the canceled check for any payment or transfer of the estate's property.

  • Determine the creditors of the estate, determine whether their claims are valid, and pay valid claims if estate assets permit.

  • Prepare and file all federal and state income tax returns when due and pay the taxes due. Prepare a federal estate tax return if one is required.

  • File with the court each year a written accounting of all monies received and paid by the estate. The accounting must be filed within 30 days of the anniversary of appointment, unless the court grants an extension of time.

  • If the PR is required to be bonded, the PR must make sure that the amount of the bond filed at least equals the value of the assets of the estate.

  • Get court approval before paying fees to the PR or the attorney for the PR, or before distributing property to heirs or beneficiaries.

Probate Department

Phone: 503.588.5141

100 High St. NE, Salem

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.