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Last Will and Testament

A will or “Last Will and Testament” is the estate planning document most people think of when they begin considering how their assets should be distributed after they die. Most people know they need a will, however, a will is just one of many documents used as part of a complete estate planning package. Having a knowledgeable Oregon estate planning attorney draft your will can ensure that your will meets the strict requirements of Oregon law and that your wishes are carried out. Don’t put off getting your affairs in order. Call 503-990-6641 for a FREE consultation or fill out the contact form to meet and discuss your questions with an affordable estate planning attorney in Salem, Oregon.

What is a will?

A will is a legal document that lays out your instructions to the probate court on how your property will be managed and distributed after your death. A will covers only your probate property, that is, property owned solely by you at your death.

What does a will do?

Besides directing the court as to who you would like to receive your assets after your death, a will can also be used to do any of the following:

  • Name a Personal Representative.
  • Name Guardians and Conservators for your minor children and their property.
  • Direct how debts and taxes will be paid.
  • Provide for your pets.
  • Serve as a backup to a Living Trust.

A will is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce the burden death can have on your loved ones. However, a will cannot do everything. It is not an effective means of reducing taxes, and lacks many other benefits that are available through Living Trusts.

Does a will avoid probate?

No. Having a will does not avoid probate, but it can reduce the cost of probate. If you have a will, your will should be filed with the probate court at your death.

What are the legal requirement for a valid will in Oregon?

For a will to be valid under Oregon law it must met all the requirements set forth in the Oregon Revised Statutes, Sec. 112.225 – 112.245. In general, these laws require that a will be, 1) in writing; 2) signed by the testator (the person leaving the will); and 3) signed by two witnesses who can attest to the signing of the will. In addition to these requirements, Oregon’s other legal requirements must be met to avoid having the Oregon courts invalidate your will.

Is a will from another state valid in Oregon?

Yes. If your will was made in another state according to the laws of that state, Oregon courts will recognize your will as being valid in Oregon.