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man hold set of keys in a boxed up house.The Probate Department in Multnomah County handles all estates, adult and minor guardianships, conservatorships, and trust cases.

An estate case (“probate”) is the method by which the property of a deceased person is transferred to others after locating assets and paying debts. Sometimes, property can be transferred without a full probate estate proceeding through what is called an “Affidavit of Claiming Successor” or “Simple Estate Affidavit.” Depending on the circumstances of the decedent (deceased person), you may have the option of filing the Simple Estate rather than the full estate. Court staff is not permitted to offer you advice on which option applies to the circumstances of the decedent. A licensed attorney is the best resource for helping you determine the right course of action.

A protective proceeding is similar to an estate case, but is used for a living person who can no longer manage their medical or financial decision-making. If you think a family member or friend is in need of a protective proceeding, please consider contacting an attorney.

Probate Letters

A simple ​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 if not more than $200,000.00 of the fair market value is attributable to real property. Real property is immovable property such as land and anything attached to the land.

The Court will file a non-probated will for safe-keeping. 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 a decedent. An exception is 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.

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.

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.

A court visitor may be appointed by the court. The visitor is someone who has training or expertise to evaluate the case. The Court Visitor fee for Multnomah County conservatorship cases is $550.00 The Visitor makes recommendations to the court regarding the capacity of the respondent, and whether the proposed guardian is appropriate.

Statewide Conservatorship information

A person interested in arranging limited control over an event (for example, the sale of property) or asset may file a motion, affidavit, and order requesting such relief. No hearing is required, unless an objection is filed and mediation does not resolve the issue.

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.

On the next page you will find answers to some of the Probate Department’s most frequently-asked questions.

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. The Court Visitor fee for Multnomah County adult guardianship cases is $550.00. 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 minors.

Statewide Guardianship & Conservatorship information

On the next page you will find answers to some of the Probate Department’s most frequently-asked questions

Additional Resources

Links to educational materials that may be of assistance to you.