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The Probate Department in Washington County cases include: Estate, Affidavit of Claiming Successor (Small Estates), Protective Proceedings (Guardianship and Conservatorship), Name & Sex Change and Trust Proceedings.
Conservator are court-appointed persons who administer and protect the estate (assests) of a protected person (a minor or incapacitated person). Unless the assets of the protected are restricted by the 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 Visitor makes recommendations to the court regarding the capacity of the respondent, and whether the proposed guardian is appropriate.
Probate is the process of providing a will, accounting for a decedent's property, and distributing the property amoung 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 filling.
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 provides a report form for guardians of adults and minors.
You must be a resident of Washington County to file a name change in Washington County. Name and sex change instructions and forms are available to download for free in our Forms Library and from our cashier for a small fee. If you are downloading from the Forms Library, please select the Washington version of the form.
To file a completed petition for name and/or sex change, or if you have any procedural questions, clerks are available to assist during regular business hours, Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm. (offices are closed during the lunch hour from 12pm to 1pm)
If you are requesting a name change as a result of a marriage you need to contact the Washington County Department of Assessment and Taxation-Recording Section, as well as the institutions where you wish to change your name for their requirements (i.e. DMV, Social Security, U.S. Passport Office).
If your requested name change is the result of a divorce, please check your final dissolution paperwork. In some cases, the spouse’s maiden name will be restored within the final judgment.
If you are requesting a name change for a minor for the purpose of correcting the minor's birth certificate, please contact the Washington County Health and Human Services/Vital Records before filing a name change with the court.
A person interested in arranging limited control over an event (for example, the sale of property) or assest 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 assests 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.
A. Matters. Probate department cases include: Estate, Affidavit of Claiming Successor (Small Estates), Guardianship, Conservatorship, Name Change and Trust Proceedings.
B. Ex Parte. Generally, appearance before a judge in a probate matter is not required and should be resolved via File & Serve/Odyssey. However, any requested probate ex parte appearance should be arranged by contacting the Probate Commissioner. Matters may not be presented at civil ex parte.
C. Status Conferences. The court will set a status conference on any matter brought before the court to frame the issue, discuss settlement options and set the appropriate amount of time on the docket.
D. Hearings. The probate commissioner sets all hearings regarding probate matters and all inquiries regarding hearings (resets, appearances, settlements, etc.) should be directed to the probate department directly, not chambers.
Listed below are links to educational materials that may be of assistance to you:
Guardianships and conservatorships can be complicated. Handling them often requires knowledge about many different rules and laws. It is always best to have a lawyer. And if you don’t have an attorney, it is still always a good idea to consult with one for advice. Court staff are not allowed to give legal advice. If you have any questions about your rights or responsibilities, only an attorney can help.
Court-certified copies of documents from the case can be requested through the
Washington County Records Department. instructions for records requests. Copy and certification costs apply. Certified copies of fiduciary letters will only be issued to the appointed fiduciary or their attorney of record. Fiduciary letters are issued by the Probate department and questions regarding copies of letters should be directed to the Probate Clerk.
Several people must be personally “served” (given the legal papers in person) in a guardianship case involving a minor. These include the child’s parents and, if the child is 14 or older, the child as well. Depending on the case, you may need to serve other individuals, too. The petition, notice, and a blank objection form must be served. Service must be done by someone who is not a party to the case, is at least 18 years old, and lives in the same state as the person being served. The person who serves the papers must sign a statement under oath saying when, where, and to whom they gave the documents. If notice is incorrectly done or not all people entitled to notice are served, your appointment as guardian will likely be denied.
A Court Visitor must be appointed in adult guardianships, and may be appointed in conservatorships and minor guardianships. The Visitor is someone who has training or expertise to evaluate the case. The Visitor makes recommendations to the court regarding the capacity of the respondent, and whether the proposed guardian is appropriate.
Anyone who is interested in the welfare of the incapacitated person or child may be appointed as guardian and/or conservator. Prospective guardians and/or conservators must tell the court whether or not they have been convicted of a crime, have filed for or received protection under the bankruptcy laws, or have had a license revoked or canceled that was required by the laws of any state for the practice of a profession or occupation. Prospective guardians must also sign a consent stating that they are willing to serve.
The courts provide a very limited number of forms. There are no statewide forms available for most guardianship or conservatorship actions. However, some circuit courts may offer minor guardianship forms, but they are not required to do so. You should consult with a lawyer whenever you are considering filing a guardianship or conservatorship case. You may find other resources on the website of the Oregon State Bar listed at the end of this document.
A guardianship or conservatorship case should be filed in the county where the incapacitated person or minor child resides or is present. A conservatorship case may also be filed in the county where property of the incapacitated person is located, but only if the person does not live in this state and is not present in this state.
Oregon law requires that both parents of a minor child be served before the court can grant the guardianship.
First Floor, Justice Services Building
150 N 1st Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
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