Oregon Personal Representative Checklist

What to do when someone dies in Oregon.

The death of a loved one is a trying time for all families.  There are several items that should be found and steps taken so that the transition will be easier.

Documents

  1.  Will, Trusts or any estate planning documents of the deceased.   A Will must be submitted to the court in order to admit the Will to probate and to appoint the Personal Representative.   You can find more information about the Probate Process in Oregon and other probate topics on the blog.
  2. Life Insurance Policies.  Up-to-date originals of the policies may be needed to claim the proceeds of the policy.
  3. Car Titles.  Titles to any automobiles, boats, trailers or any other vehicle that the deceased may have owned.
  4. Deeds.  Any document that proves ownership of real estate.  If it's necessary, you can obtain these from your local county.
  5. Stock, Bond or Deposit Certificates.  Any document that proves ownership of a financial instrument.

Tasks

  1. Death Certificates.  You can obtain death certificates from vital statistics but typically a funeral home will order them for you.  Death certificates are used to prove death and are useful for many legal and financial reasons.
  2. Records and documentation. It is important that accurate records are kept of all bills paid, money deposited and spent, and every other transaction of the estate. 
  3. Forward Mail. Forward the mail with the Postal Service of any business or personal of your loved one.  Review the mail regularly for any bills or other important documents.
  4. Safe Deposit Box. Locate and inventory any safe deposit box that the deceased may have had. 
  5. Inventory Assets.  Make a list of all assets.  If necessary, obtain date of death valuations from banks and brokers. 
  6. Taxes. The estate may owe property and income taxes.  The timing and valuation of assets can be important so talk to an attorney and a CPA before paying taxes.
  7. Records and documentation. Because it is what most commonly gets people in trouble I'll say it again.  It is important that accurate records are kept of all bills paid, money deposited and spent, and every other transaction of the estate. 

This is an overview of the most common tasks that a personal representative needs to perform in Oregon.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me or search the blog.

Portland Probate Attorney
kevin@pnwprobate.com
(503) 893-5878