Does an inheritance have to go through probate in the Oregon, United States?
If probate is required is there anything else that needs to be done in its place, besides the executor paying any outstanding debts owed by the estate?
Are there any benefits to using probate? (Pros and Cons)
An inheritance has to go through probate if there are any probate assets (i.e. assets that do not have a beneficiary designation or survivorship provision) the belong to the decedent, subject to some very narrow exceptions where there is no will, none of the assets are legally titled, and the amount is minimal in which case a probate substitute involving distribution by affidavit can be used.
If there are debts to be paid and there are assets not exempt from creditors to pay them out of that belonged to the decedent then a probate needs to be opened.
Probate provides a means for confirming the validity of the will and the orderly determination of all claims of creditors against the estate and a forum for resolving probate related disputes.
But, probate can impose a fairly substantial legal fees costs and can impose red tape that really isn't justified. Oregon is not one of the estates that has adopted the Uniform Probate Code that solves many of the problems with the probate system.