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At Levelle Law, we take a proactive approach, focusing on quality administration, detailing potential issues, and guiding forward-thinking decisions. We advise personal representatives, trustees, and beneficiaries with regards to the administration of probate estates and trusts. We help our clients make informed decisions concerning post-death tax planning opportunities, payment of estate/trust expenses, maintenance and distribution of one’s estate assets in accordance with fiduciary obligations, tax reporting obligations, and the closing of the estate or trust.


In Oregon, a small estate affidavit procedure can be used if the assets subject to probate administration are less than $200,000 in real property and $75,000 in cash assets and other personal property. This process allows for the transfer of assets without going through a formal probate administration.

It is important to note that although the small estate affidavit process is relatively simple and does not involve court supervision, it is still advisable to consult with an attorney familiar with the Oregon small estate affidavit procedure to ensure compliance with required notices and payment of any creditor claims and address any concerns related to your specific situation.


The probate process is a legal procedure that takes place after someone passes away to validate and administer their estate according to the law. It involves proving the validity of the deceased person’s will (if one exists) or determining the distribution of assets if there is no will (intestate succession). The primary purpose of probate is to appoint a personal representative to ensure that the deceased person’s debts are settled, taxes are paid, and remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries under a will or heirs by intestate succession. The complexity and duration of the probate process can vary depending on various factors, including the size of the estate, the presence of a valid will, and the existence of any disputes or complications.


Trust administration refers to the process of managing and distributing assets held within a trust after the death of the trust creator (also known as a settlor, trustor or grantor). The trust administration process is designed to avoid the administration of a decedent’s estate with court involvement. However, when a trust creator passes away, a successor trustee (who may be an individual or a financial institution) assumes the responsibility of administering the trust according to the terms and instructions set forth in the trust document. The trustee’s role involves tasks such as identifying and valuing trust assets, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, managing investments, and distributing the trust’s income and principal to the beneficiaries as directed by the trust document.


Based on the principle that reasonable people can disagree, Levelle Law recommends that its clients attempt to mediate a disagreement before implementing formal court litigation. Mediation is a voluntary, cooperative conflict resolution process in which parties make all decisions regarding participation, information sharing, and outcome. It is a conflict resolution process that emphasizes self-determination and collaborative problem solving. 

The goal of mediation is for a neutral third party to help the participants come to consensus on their own. Participation in the mediation process is voluntary. Rather than imposing a solution, a mediator works with the conflicting sides to explore the underlying interests beneath their positions. The mediator is a neutral third party who does not decide any substantive issues for the parties and does not provide legal advice or therapy.  The mediator’s role is to guide the process so as to foster mutual understanding of all participants’ concerns, interests, and needs. 

Mediation is frequently helpful in estates where disputes arise regarding the distribution or administration of an estate after someone passes away. These disputes may involve disagreements among beneficiaries, heirs, or other interested parties regarding the validity of the will or trust, the interpretation of its provisions, or the overall management of the estate.


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Oregon State Bar Legal Info

What is Probate? Why is it needed?

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Probate and Going to Court

Learn about the Probate Procedure

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Oregon Mediation Association

Learn about Oregon Mediation