What to do if I am confused about the timing of my duties as an executor of a small estate?

I will be leaving the country on 9/28 and wondered if I should wait until I return to file for probate since I won’t be here to take care of creditors. I am the executor and divisee (along with my husband) for the estate. I also can’t discern when I’m able to sell the deceased person’s car in order to pay off her loan.

Asked on September 17, 2013 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I would consult with an attorney about the matter before you leave the country.  It is my understanding that in Oregon, the small estate affidavit proceeding is available only to estates in which the decedent owned real property worth not more than $150,000 and personal property worth not more than $50,000 and does not have the added benefit of cutting off claims of unknown creditors because there is no requirement of a publication in the local newspaper, which would give the creditor notice of the timeline.  So you may want to think twice about using the affidavit if you think that there are creditors lurking.  There seems to be no time limitation to file for probate so if you are not going to be out of the country for long then you may want to wait.  But again, consult with an attorney before you leave as to the best type of probate in your circumstances.  Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I would consult with an attorney about the matter before you leave the country.  It is my understanding that in Oregon, the small estate affidavit proceeding is available only to estates in which the decedent owned real property worth not more than $150,000 and personal property worth not more than $50,000 and does not have the added benefit of cutting off claims of unknown creditors because there is no requirement of a publication in the local newspaper, which would give the creditor notice of the timeline.  So you may want to think twice about using the affidavit if you think that there are creditors lurking.  There seems to be no time limitation to file for probate so if you are not going to be out of the country for long then you may want to wait.  But again, consult with an attorney before you leave as to the best type of probate in your circumstances.  Good luck.


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