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N Cal Attorney
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Does a hand formed, signed and dated wishes at ones demise

Customer Question

Does a hand formed, signed and dated wishes at ones' demise constitute a legal "will" in OR even though not "filed" or presented to an attorney. It does have at least one witness to it, but non-cooperative mother in law won't reveal its content nor make a copy of it. Do I have legal remedy to force her to reveal its contents, or is this what "probate" is all about?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
Have you called the lawyer and asked if he or she knows of a will?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
emailed tonight such, and in email also notified I will be calling him on Wednesday in regards XXXXX XXXXX Step mother told I would give her a couple days to respond to me, but even if he doesn't respond to my email, I plan on calling him Wednesday. Sorry to waste your time, should have put that in orig.
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
I did some research. Oregon does not recognize holographic wills.

The statute on execution notably does NOT require the witnesses to sign at the same time as the testator:

112.235 Execution of a will. A will shall be in writing and shall be executed with the following formalities:
(1) The testator, in the presence of each of the witnesses, shall:
(a) Sign the will; or
(b) Direct one of the witnesses or some other person to sign thereon the name of the testator; or
(c) Acknowledge the signature previously made on the will by the testator or at the testator’s direction.
(2) Any person who signs the name of the testator as provided in subsection (1)(b) of this section shall sign the signer’s own name on the will and write on the will that the signer signed the name of the testator at the direction of the testator.
(3) At least two witnesses shall each:
(a) See the testator sign the will; or
(b) Hear the testator acknowledge the signature on the will; and
(c) Attest the will by signing the witness’ name to it.
(4) A will executed in compliance with the Uniform International Wills Act shall be deemed to have complied with the formalities of this section. [1969 c.591 §37; 1973 c.506 §7; 1981 c.481 §4]
From
http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/112.html

So if there were 2 witnesses and one of them has not signed it, a Court may be able to order her to sign it, but it looks like you are going to need a local attorney to sort this out. It is not uncommon for a person to leave more than one Will and that might be the situation here. Hopefully you'll know more after speaking with the lawyer for the deceased.

You can get a free consultation from some of the probate lawyers listed by location at
http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/Probate-&-Estate-Administration/Oregon

The Court also has the power to order a person to produce a Will that is in their possession.

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8240
Experience: since 1983
N Cal Attorney and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
In the State of Oregon, is there a time limit to bring matters to a Probate Court?
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 3 years ago.
I cannot find anything in Oregon law putting a time limit on filing a will for probate.

ORS chapter 112 covers probate, and is posted at
http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/112.html

It includes the following statutes:

112.810 Duties of custodian of will. (1) Any person having custody of a will:
(a) Shall deliver the will to the testator upon demand from the testator, unless the person having custody of the will is an attorney and is entitled to retain the will pursuant to ORS 87.430;
(b) May at any time deliver the will to the testator;
(c) Upon demand from the conservator, shall deliver the will to a conservator for the testator;
(d) Upon demand from the attorney-in-fact, shall deliver the will to an attorney-in-fact acting under a durable power of attorney signed by the testator expressly authorizing the attorney-in-fact to demand custody of the will;
(e) May deliver the will to any attorney licensed to practice law in Oregon willing to accept delivery of the will if the person does not know or cannot ascertain, upon diligent inquiry, the address of the testator; or
(f) Shall deliver the will to a court having jurisdiction of the estate of the testator or to a personal representative named in the will within 30 days after the date of receiving information that the testator is dead.
(2) With respect to a will held in a safe deposit box, compliance with ORS 708A.655 or 723.844 by the financial institution, trust company, savings association or credit union within which the box is located shall be deemed to be compliance with the requirements of this section.

112.830 Court may order delivery of will. If it appears to a court having jurisdiction of the estate of a decedent that a person has custody of a will made by the decedent, the court may issue an order requiring that person to deliver the will to the court.

I hope this information is helpful.

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