Theressa Hollis

Theressa Hollis

Fitzwater Law
  • Probate, Estate Planning, Elder Law
  • Oregon
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Biography

I’m a partner with Fitzwater Law and have practiced with this firm for 22 years. My practice emphasizes legal issues unique to the elderly and their families, including guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, probate estates, trust administration, and estate planning. Some of my favorite cases are the emergency (“temporary”) guardianships and conservatorships. I received my J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in 1998.

I value helping people in times of crisis by making the legal system understandable. I pride myself on being reliable and thorough in my work, while striving to take the mystery out of the legal process.

Elder law and estate planning is a perfect fit for me. Since my time as a psychology major at Linfield College I have enjoyed helping people in need. I am a frequent volunteer at the Legal Aid Service’s Senior Law Project providing pro bono legal help to seniors. I also enjoy teaching other attorneys to practice elder law. I am a faculty speaker for the Oregon Law Institute and the Multnomah Bar Association on the issues of probate administration and guardianships. I am currently the Treasurer of the Executive Committee for the Elder Law Section of the Oregon State Bar.

I enjoy applying my knowledge and skills to assist my community. I am the second-term President and founding board member of Guardian Partners, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating abuse and neglect for our elderly and disabled populations. I was a Co-Editor of the Oregon State Bar’s Elder Law Handbook (2017). Also in 2017, I was awarded the Oregon State Bar President’s Public Service Award for my volunteer service. I am a member of the following organizations: Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLS), Clackamas County Elder Abuse Coordinated Community Response Team, Guardian/Conservator Association of Oregon, and Oregon Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS).

Practice Areas
    Probate
    Probate Administration, Probate Litigation, Will Contests
    Estate Planning
    Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
    Elder Law
Additional Practice Areas
  • Guardianship/Conservatorship
  • Trust Administration
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
Fees
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    We generally bill hourly but some estate planning is handled on a flat fee basis. Please contact me for more information.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Oregon
Oregon State Bar
ID Number: 982626
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Partner
Fitzwater Law
- Current
Associate Attorney
Scalf & O'Halloran
-
Associate attorney in a general practice firm handling probate, guardianship and estate planning cases.
Education
Willamette University College of Law
J.D. (1998) | Law
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Willamette University College of Law Logo
Linfield College
B.A. (1992) | Psychology & Spanish
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Awards
President's Public Service Award
Oregon State Bar Association
Public Service Award Criteria: The nominee must have volunteered for the activity involved; must be an active or emeritus member of the Oregon State Bar; and must have made significant contributions to the public through recent efforts in one or more of the following areas: pro bono legal service to individuals or groups, law-related public education, coordination of public service law-related events (such as those associated with Law Day), service with community boards or organizations, or similar activities which benefit the public.
Professional Associations
Oregon State Bar Association  # 982626
Member
Current
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Oregon State Bar Elder Law Section
Immediate Past President
Current
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Guardian Partners
Board Member, Immediate Past President
Current
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Guardian/Conservator Association of Oregon
Member
Current
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Oregon Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardian Stakeholders (WINGS)
Member
Current
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Publications
Articles & Publications
Elder Law Handbook
Oregon State Bar
Speaking Engagements
Health Ed 2019, Portland, Oregon
PESI, Inc.
Fitzwater Law attorneys value giving back to Oregon’s social work community. On Friday, May 31 attorneys Wes Fitzwater, Chris Ray and Theressa Hollis will present at Oregon Elderlaw 2019. This all-day Health Ed presentation put on by PESI, Inc. (Professional Education Systems Institute) benefits social workers, nurses, case managers, psychologists and other professionals working with, caring for & advising the elderly & their families. Topics covered will include planning for health and financial decisions, the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicare, recent updates on Medicaid eligibility, understanding guardianship and conservatorship, and elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Websites & Blogs
Website
Fitzwater Law Website
Blog
Fitzwater Law Blog
Legal Answers
107 Questions Answered
Q. Mom died. All her assets are in a trust. Do I (trustee) have to file her will if it has nothing to probate? Thanks.
A: No, if none of your mother's assets are in her name alone then no probate is needed. I do recommend you consult with an experienced attorney to make sure you understand your duties as Successor Trustee. Often this is just a one-time consultation but can be very important to ensure that you are avoiding problems.
Q. Will a personal guarantee survive the death of guarantor and can full debt be collected from his estate?
A: All valid debts (claims) will be paid through an Oregon probate. The validity of the debt will be evaluated by the Personal Representative. If a claim is disallowed by the Personal Representative the creditor can ask for a hearing and the Probate Judge will determine the validity of the claim. The answer to your specific question will depend on the facts of your situation. What type of "personal guarantee" was it? Was there anything in writing? How will you prove that you are owed the money?
Q. My mom's estate is in Probate (Oregon). I Plan to sell her house. Am I required to first have it appraised?
A: If you are Personal Representative for your mother's estate you should ask your attorney this question. In general you can have a realtor create a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for you or you can pay for the property to be appraised. However, there are a lot of fact-specific issues in probates so I recommend you contact your attorney.
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Contact & Map
6400 SE Lake Rd
Ste. 440
Portland, OR 97015
Telephone: (503) 786-8191
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