Theressa Hollis

Theressa Hollis

Fitzwater Law
  • Probate, Estate Planning, Elder Law
  • Oregon
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial MediaResponsive Law

I’m a partner with Fitzwater Law and have practiced with this firm for 19 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
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
Additional Practice Areas
  • Guardianship/Conservatorship
  • Trust Administration
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • 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 State Bar
ID Number: 982626
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Fitzwater Law
- Current
Associate Attorney
Scalf & O'Halloran
Associate attorney in a general practice firm handling probate, guardianship and estate planning cases.
Willamette University College of Law
J.D. (1998) | Law
Willamette University College of Law Logo
Linfield College
B.A. (1992) | Psychology & Spanish
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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
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Oregon State Bar Elder Law Section
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Guardian Partners
Board President
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Guardian/Conservator Association of Oregon
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Oregon Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardian Stakeholders (WINGS)
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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
Fitzwater Law Website
Fitzwater Law Blog
Legal Answers
36 Questions Answered

Q. I & my husband have put our home into a revocable living trust for our 2 adult children. We have so little income that
A: You’ll need to provide more information. Property taxes and rent are two different things. I recommend you schedule an appointment with an experienced Medicaid attorney.
Q. How do I setup a conservatorship?
A: Since your father is in California you will need to hire an attorney who is licensed to practice in that state. I recommend you post your question under California instead of Oregon.
Q. Can a house that is in a Supplemental Needs Trust be transferred to a private party?
A: Supplemental Needs Trusts (also called Special Needs Trusts) are a very specialized area of law. I strongly recommend that you meet with an experienced planning attorney to assist you. It is impossible to answer your question without a lot more information.
Q. What forms do we need to file with the courts to become executure of the estate
A: I strongly recommend you schedule an office or phone appointment with an experienced probate attorney. You will save yourself a lot of frustration by making sure you handle the estate accurately from the beginning. Also, attorney fees are almost always paid out of the estate assets.
Q. If a claiming successor (only sister of deceased brother) has two children, then the estate is divided equally in Oregon
A: I'm afraid you have not asked a question. However, if an Oregon resident dies without a Will or Trust then Oregon's intestate laws control the distribution of his estate. When a decedent has no spouse, children or surviving parents the estate assets (after payment of all outstanding creditors and taxes) are distributed equally to his siblings. The children of a sibling (nieces & nephews) are only included in the distribution if that sibling died *before* the decedent. If this is confusing I recommend you speak with a probate attorney to provide you with legal advice on your specific situation.
Q. What is the legal process to gain legal authority to act on deceased behalf when there is no will and no estate?
A: I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, there is no legal way to obtain the information you need about your sister's debt without filing a probate. Since your sister passed without a Will her spouse will inherit her estate through Oregon's intestate laws. I recommend he hire an experienced probate attorney to meet with him and discuss what needs to happen next.
Q. no assets to heirs the probate is underwater the inventory is less than the IRS lien the probate refuses closure.
A: It sounds like you need to hire an experienced probate attorney to assist you with your issue. It is possible to close a probate even if all creditors have not been paid in full. An experienced probate attorney will assist you with this.
Q. I'm not paying thousands of dollars for a maybe solution I need more guarantees for a solution than maybe.
A: I think you'll need to provide more information about your specific situation if you'd like to receive a helpful answer.
Q. Can a man who's had a major stroke close out joint accounts and give away assets when he is married?
A: You and your family are experiencing a very complicated elder law issue. I recommend you hire an experienced local elder law attorney to assist you. Your question cannot be answered online.
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Contact & Map
6400 SE Lake Rd
Ste. 440
Portland, OR 97015
Telephone: (503) 786-8191