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Why a "Simple Will" isn't so simple

by Attorney Nathan Begley

Good Advice Law

Often when a client calls into my office, they tell my staff that they are looking for a "Simple Will" by which they typically mean that they have a fairly straightforward family situation and just a house, a car, and a few bank or retirement accounts to pass on to their family, friends, or charities of their choosing. The trouble is, that a "Simple Will" is not so simple, because it will lead your family straight to probate court. 

In order to prove your "Simple Will" is real, it has to be submitted to the court for inspection. It needs to be proven that you understood the extent of your estate and who your beneficiaries were, that it was actually you who signed the will, that you were over 18 years old, of sound mind,  and were not acting under any restraint, undue influence, duress, or fraudulent misrepresentation.

Then, notice needs to be placed in the newspapers and a minimum of four months have to go by before the probate case can proceed. In fact, roughly half of all the probate cases active in Oregon courts have been going on for two years or more! That's because in probate, a whole mess of people have the right to object, even if they don't actually have a valid case.

After all the bills have been paid and the attorney's fees deducted, your family will have spent months or years of time and thousands of dollars in money that could have been saved by doing something more than just a "Simple Will."

Speak to an estate planning attorney today to find out how to ensure that as much of your hard earned legacy goes to the people and causes you care about with as little going to attorneys or the government as possible.

P.S. Special Announcements: We would like to welcome our new Family Law and Probate Attorney Andres Martinez! Andres is patient and understanding and is fluent in Spanish. For appointments in Spanish please email

To increase access to justice, our office is now available for Sunday Afternoon appointments by request.

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