Recent Ruling: Personal Representative Compensation

From time to time, we will publish blurbs on recent local court opinions and state legislation:

Brown v. Hackney, — P.3d –, 2009 WL 1394832 (Or App 2009)

Background: Brother of the decedent, a beneficiary through intestate (without a will) succession, challenged the payment of the personal representative from funds acquired through the settlement of a wrongful death action initiated by the personal representative.


Holding: The personal representative may be compensated based on the proceeds of a wrongful death settlement. ORS 116.173 bases personal representative compensation on the “whole estate” which is greater than the intestacy “estate.” The decedent’s “whole estate” is “comprised of all property both within the jurisdiction of the probate court as well as property outside the jurisdiction of the probate court.”


Comment:  This fight was over an amount of $5,200.  $5,200!  Really!?!  Can’t we negotiate matters like grownups, instead of taking them up to the court of appeals?