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5 Steps if you are Named Personal Representative: Wills in Oregon

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Have you been named personal representative in a will? Check out these 5 steps!

You were named a personal representative in a will now what? Many times it's after the passing of a loved one that people will need to answer this question and navigating the process can be daunting if you don't have the information you need.



Make sure you are meeting your own needs and giving yourself space to grieve. You’ve just lost someone you care about and now are faced with the prospect of winding up their affairs, paying debts you’ve never heard of with assets you’ve never seen. This can be overwhelming, but help is available and you don’t have to face this alone.


Tip: A consultation with an attorney: In a consultation, an attorney will assess your situation to determine if you need legal representation.


1. Find the Will

Even if a will was validly executed, it’s not much use if no one can find it. If no will or proof thereof can be found, the state of Oregon will administer the estate according to the laws of “intestacy” which is a generalized will for anyone who dies without a written will.



2. Order Multiple Original Death Certificates

Courts and many financial institutions will want originals, not copies. Death Certificates take a while to ship, so it’s best to order several the first time.



3. Notify Credit Agencies

Contact Agencies like Transunion, Experian, and Equifax, to lock down the deceased’s accounts so that no one can steal their identity.


4. Take a Moment

Make sure you are meeting your own needs and giving yourself space to grieve. You’ve just lost someone you care about and now are faced with the prospect of winding up their affairs, paying debts you’ve never heard of with assets you’ve never seen. This can be overwhelming, but help is available and you don’t have to face this alone.


5. Meet with an Attorney

Getting a consultation with an attorney experienced in probate law and estate planning will be a valuable resource who can help you interpret both the legal documents and your specific circumstances to ascertain whether your situation requires the courts to be involved and how best to fulfill your duties and honor the last wishes of the deceased.


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