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The purpose of probate is to make sure that the debts of someone who has died are paid and that the deceased’s remaining assets get to the rightful owners/heirs.
Generally speaking, these matters are complex and require knowledge of many different rules, including Oregon statutes and case law, uniform and local rules, banking, tax, fiduciary responsibility and so forth. There are some simple probate matters that you may do without a lawyer, but it is always a good thing to consult with a lawyer.


Guardianship is a legal relationship created by a court between a guardian and a ward. A ward is either a minor child or an incapacitated adult. A guardian has a legal right and duty to care for the ward and typically the guardian makes personal or business decisions on behalf of the ward.
A guardian may be a relative or may be unrelated to the ward. A potential guardian files a petition requesting to become guardian then a court makes a decision to approve or deny the petition. Guardianship may be temporary or permanent.
At intervals specified by the court, a guardian will submit recent information about the ward to the court. The guardian's report covers personal matters or the business of the ward.
When the relationship of guardian and ward ends, the ward is entitled to have an account of the administration of the estate from the guardian.


Guardianships of incapacitated adults are more typically called conservatorships and are handled by attorneys.

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