Oregon Probate Lawyer Andrew M. Rich, P.C.
Practice Areas and Legal Definitions


Probate is the legal process of transferring property following a person's death. Although probate customs and laws have changed over time, the purpose has remained much the same: an individual formalizes their intentions as to the transfer of their property at the time of their death (typically through a Will), their property is collected, certain debts are paid from the estate and the property is distributed accordingly.


A Will is a written instrument containing directions on how the assets and property of the testator (individual creating the Will) shall be divided upon his or her death. Wills can also contain instructions regarding the care of minor children, gifts to charity and formation of posthumous trusts. In order for a Will to be legally valid, the testator must sign the Will in the presence of two witnesses, and he or she must be mentally competent and not acting under duress or under the controlling influence of another. For more information related to Wills, please contact the Hillsboro, Oregon estate planning Law Office of Andrew M. Rich, P.C.


A Will Contest is a type of litigation that challenges the admission of a Will to probate. Issues that are likely to spur the contesting of a Will include:

  • the testator lacked mental capacity, i.e. was senile, delusional or of unsound mind at the time the documents were created
  • the testator was subjected to fraud, coercion or undue influence during its creation and implementation
  • there are ambiguities in the document, or
  • the Will is a forgery or does not conform to legal requirements as to the number and nature of the witnesses.

If the Will is thrown out, the court may disallow only the part of the Will that was challenged or throw out the entire Will of the decedent, distributing the property as if the person died without a Will, or use the last previous Will, depending on state law and the specific facts and circumstances.


Trusts are estate-planning tools that can replace or supplement Wills, as well as help manage property during life. A Trust manages the distribution of a person's property by transferring its benefits and obligations to different people. By maintaining assets in a Trust, it is often easier to minimize taxes and leave a larger inheritance. A Trust is also a way to provide a steady income to the Beneficiary over the course of time, rather than distribution in a lump sum. This strategy can reduce the Beneficiary's tax and allow the Trust to grow through investment, and keep assets free from creditors of the Trust beneficiary. Trusts can also be established for the benefit of charitable organizations.


A living trust can be created during a person's lifetime, and all of the person's assets can be transferred into the name of the trust. The person creating the trust can appoint himself as his own trustee, and he can name someone else to act as his successor trustee in the event of death or disability. Upon death or disability, the successor trustee is charged with carrying out the terms and conditions of the trust instrument.

Because the assets of the person are held in the name of the trust, no probate is necessary and administration of the trust can be done without court supervision. For people who want to avoid a probate proceeding, a living trust is an attractive alternative. A living trust can be very useful in other ways, such as avoidance or minimization of inheritance taxes and management of a person's estate during periods of disability.


Estates are categorized as probate or non-probate property. Probate property is property that is in the name of the decedent without any survivorship attribute. Non-probate property is property that is either jointly held and passes by right of survivorship, is directed by beneficiary designation such as an IRA or a life insurance policy or passes according to the terms of a trust.


Good estate planning is more than just a simple Will. Estate planning minimizes potential taxes and fees, such as the transferring of assets at the lowest possible Federal and State gift and estate tax, and sets up contingency planning to make sure wishes regarding health care treatment are followed before and after death. A good estate plan also coordinates what happens to a home, investments, business, life insurance, employee benefits (such as a 401K plan) and other property in the event of disablement or death.

Estate tax and other estate-related issues are hot legislative items, with new laws being passed on a regular basis. A competent and experienced estate planning lawyer is critical in assuring that your unique estate planning goals are understood and carried out. To discuss your estate planning options, please contact the Hillsboro, Oregon estate planning Law Office of Andrew M. Rich, P.C.


Powers of Attorney are governed by the law of agency, a branch of common law concerned with the delegation of power from one person (the principal), to another (attorney-in-fact or agent).

When a person becomes incapacitated, the government or the court often steps in and appoints someone to represent and make legal decisions that the person would have to make. One of the ways to avoid government or court intervention and the appointment of a stranger to act as your guardian is to use a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a written document stating that one person gives to another the full power and authority to represent him or her or it can be limited in scope.


The transfer of real property can occur at death, but it often happens during a person's lifetime. The review and preparation of documents related to property transfers can be essential to protect your property rights. In some instances disputes arise, such as property line disagreements and earnest money proposals.

In addition to these practice areas, Hillsboro, Oregon taxation lawyer Andrew M. Rich, P.C. also handles matters related to elder law. Elder law is a term that describes legal services for the elderly. It includes:

  • Estate planning
  • Proceedings to administer the estate of a deceased person
  • A variety of services related to the needs of persons as they grow older.

If you or someone you know in Hillsboro, Oregon, or within the surrounding cities and counties of Oregon needs the assistance or legal counsel of an experienced probate lawyer, contact Attorney Andrew M. Rich, P.C. today at 503-985-6933, or use the contact form provided on this site to begin your consultation with a trusted Oregon estate planning attorney.

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Andrew M. Rich, P.C. | 330 NE Lincoln Street, Suite 100, Hillsboro, OR 97124 | Phone: 503-985-6933
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