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Oregon Estate Administration
Probate Estates Information
Oregon Estates Program Brochure  
ORS 113.085 and OAR 141-35-0020 require the Department of State Lands to be notified immediately upon the death of a person when it appears there are no known heirs or a valid will. This notification is generally provided by the County Medical Examiner, but it also comes from landlords, nursing home administrators, hospitals, funeral homes, neighbors, friends, and attorneys.
 
Upon notification, the Estate Administrator is responsible for immediately taking steps to ensure the protection of assets and to search for a valid will and heirs. If the search is unsuccessful, the Director of the Department will be appointed in the appropriate county court as personal representative or small estate affiant to administer the estate.
 
Real and personal property of the estate is inventoried and sold through an oral, public auction. Creditors are paid from the estate trust account in accordance with ORS 115.125. The assets of the estate are held in the Common School Fund for ten years and are available for claim by proven heirs during this period.
 
If there is no claim within a certain time period described in ORS 116.253(1), the funds are permanently deposited into the Common School Fund (CSF) and are no longer available for claim. The CSF is a constitutional fund dedicated to benefit Oregon´s public schools from K-12. Go [here] to find out more about the Common School Fund.
 
Department staff is available to answer any questions, or to speak at community and/or professional seminars. For more information, please contact the Estates Unit at 503-986-5287/5247/5299.