When a person dies without a will, trust, or other means of disposing of his or her estate, the law imposes statutory guidelines for distributing property. These laws are known as intestacy laws. Oregon looks to the familial lineage to determine how property will be distributed. If you don’t have any family, then the state will take hold of your estate. Estate planners do not recommend this because it simply takes property out of one’s own hands.
Washington intestate laws are very similar to Oregon’s. Both follow a familial line of succession. In both states, it is a good idea to have the advice of a local attorney because courts will still be involved.