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The Probate Department is located on the 2nd floor of the Lane County Courthouse. Office hours are Monday through Friday, except court holidays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You may contact the Probate Department by phone at 541.682.4033.

Probate Types

Probate is the process of proving a will, accounting for a decedent's property, and distributing the property among the decedent's heirs and devisees. There are several types of estate cases. It may be necessary to file an estate depending on the circumstances and the assets of the decedent. The court is not able to determine the need to file an estate and does not provide forms for filing.

A small estate may be filed if not more than $75,000.00 of the fair market value of the estate is attributable to personal property and not more than $200,000.00 of the fair market value is attributable to real property.

A person interested in arranging limited control over an event (for example, the sale of property) or asset may file a request for protective proceeding hearing with the Probate Commissioner. Requests may be made by letter and should set out the estimated time needed for hearings and which Mondays the parties are available for hearings. Hearings requiring more than 2 hours will be set on the regular trial docket.

Guardians are persons appointed by the court to promote and protect the health and well-being of a protected person. A court visitor will be appointed by the court. The court visitor investigates the circumstances of the case. The petitioner will be required to pay the court visitor a set fee for this service. Guardians are required to file an annual report within 30 days of the anniversary of their appointment. The court provides a report form for guardians of adults and will accept reports from guardians of minors in letter form.

The Court will file a non-probated will for safe-keeping.

Conservators are court-appointed persons who administer and protect the estate (assets) of a protected person(a minor or incapacitated person). Unless the assets of the protected person are restricted by court order, the conservator is bonded and must file annual accounts with the court.

If you have questions about being a conservator, please see the videos provided by the Center for Elders and the Courts​.

A trust is a document that may be created in a last will and testament and is designed to convey money or property from one individual to another. A trustee is the person who administers the trust assets and distributes the assets based on the intentions of the trustor, the individual who leaves property to others through a trust. Proceedings regarding trusts generally occur when the trustees try to modify the terms of the trust or need to resolve some dispute arising from the trust or the actions of the trustee.

Probate FAQs

You may need to file an estate depending on the circumstances and the assets of the decedent. The court is not able to determine your need to file an estate. It can be helpful to consult an attorney for legal advice. Call the Oregon State Bar Referral line at 800.452.7636 for the name of an attorney in your area. In addition, the Lane County Law Library is located in the basement of the Lane County Courthouse and is open to the public. You can look there for helpful publications and information.

You can obtain the necessary forms from an attorney, a stationery store, or a bookstore that sells legal documents.

You should file the appropriate paperwork to contest a will. You may want to contact an attorney for more information. Or you may research the subject yourself at the Lane County Law Library under the Oregon Revised Statutes or other applicable rules.

This is not a simple question since each case is unique. You may want to speak with an attorney regarding Oregon probate law and what is involved with the estate of a deceased person.

Probate is the process of transferring the property of a deceased person to others after locating assets and paying debts. Sometimes property can be transferred without probate through a less expensive process called an Affidavit of Claiming Successor or Small Estate Affidavit.

Wills for living persons are not filed with the court. They should be kept in a safe place. Wills for deceased persons are not filed with the court unless a probate case is opened for the decedent. An exception is made if you have an original will of a deceased person and you cannot find the personal representative named in the will. Then you can file an un-probated will with the court.

The court will have the will only if an estate proceeding has been filed or if the will was filed for safekeeping. You may contact the Probate Department by phone at 541.682.4033 to see if the will has been filed or is involved in an estate proceeding.

Filing fees depend on the type of case you are filing.