Estate Planning - Wills

Trust Administration

Wills are one method of detailing how, to whom, or where you want your assets to be distributed upon your death. Because of the specific laws regulating what Wills must contain in Oregon, it is vital that you see an attorney to do your Will.

Unlike some states, such as California, you cannot draft your own Will in Oregon and simply have two witnesses sign your Will. There are many specific requirements under Oregon law that will make a Will drafted by a non-attorney even using so called “legal forms” invalid. Such “legal forms” can be found on the internet, stationers stores, office supply stores, and professionals. Some providers of these Will forms even tout that they are valid in all 50 states.

Our attorneys have not seen a Will yet that has been drafted by an individual through use of these legal forms that is valid. Unfortunately, our office has seen the tragic results of invalid Wills. Some of these tragic results include but are not limited to people receiving assets that the decedent (deceased) specifically did not want them to receive, individuals not receiving the assets the decedent wanted them to receive, and the high litigation costs of getting the decedent's estate assets distributed without a valid Will. While you might be sorely tempted to save a few hundred dollars by not going to an attorney and doing your own Will, remember in doing so you are only giving your loved ones potentially tears, tragedy, and high attorney fee bills.


Wills are administered through the courts once a person has passed away. A common misconception is that Wills are not probated. Wills must go through the probate process. The only exceptions are if the person who passed away is married and all assets are held in joint names with a spouse or other person, or if the assets are non-probate assets. The court process is not necessarily a long or expensive process. If the Will is valid, drafted by an attorney, assets of the decedent are known, there is no litigation due to creditor claims or other type of claims, and total assets are under $1,000,000.00 a probate can be closed in six to nine months on average. Our office has closed estates in excess of $1,000,000.00 in 9 months to a year. During the probate process bills of the deceased are paid and support for the children and the spouse can also be paid.