What to do if my brother passed away unexpectedly without a Will and left no wife or children?

UPDATED: Apr 2, 2013

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What to do if my brother passed away unexpectedly without a Will and left no wife or children?

He has a house that was heading towards foreclosure. His assets are not more than his debt. What happens if I do nothing to settle his estate? Am I required to find an attorney to handle a probate process? Do I have to file taxes for him? He hadn’t filed in a couple of years.

Asked on April 2, 2013 under Estate Planning, Oregon


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If your brother dies without a Will then the intestacy statutes will apply as to his assets.  It appears from the facts here that in Oregon his estate would pass to your parents and if they did not survive him, his siblings.  If you do nothing to settle the estate a receiver will probably be appointed.  It may be a good idea to speak with some one about being appointed as the Personal Representative and selling the house (either short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure and waiver of deficiency) and filing a bankrupt estate.  Good luck.

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