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 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).

Willamette University College of Law
J.D. (1998) | Law
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Linfield College
B.A. (1992) | Psychology & Spanish
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Professional Experience
Fitzwater Law
- Current
Associate Attorney
Scalf & O'Halloran
Associate attorney in a general practice firm handling probate, guardianship and estate planning cases.
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.
Super Lawyer
Super Lawyers
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
Guardian Partners
Board Member, Immediate Past 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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Oregon State Bar Association  # 982626
- Current
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Oregon State Bar Elder Law Section
Immediate Past President
- Current
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Oregon Stare Bar Estate Planning and Administration Section
- Current
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Oregon State Bar
ID Number: 982626
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  • 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.
Practice Areas
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
  • English: Spoken, Written
Legal Answers
Q. In my divorce it states that I would give him the house with the condition that if anything happens to him the house
A: You will need an attorney to review your final Divorce Decree. My guess is that it doesn't actually say this because there are only a limited number of ways to control the house. It could have gone into a Trust for your daughter with the ability for your ex-spouse to live there for his lifetime. It could have given the house to your daughter subject to a Life Estate of your ex-spouse. The Decree could have required your husband to sign a Transfer On Death Deed to your daughter. All of these would be unusual to include in a Divorce Decree. This is why you need an attorney to review the Decree for you to determine what the status of the house actually is. Then the attorney can let you know if your ex-spouse getting remarried has any effect on the house. ... Read More
Q. I am married. No kids. My wife-I own a house. QUESTION: if I die first, does my wife get the house clean immediately?
A: As long as you and your wife own the house "as husband and wife" or "as tenants by the entirety" on the Deed then the house will automatically go to the surviving spouse. They will just need to record the Death Certificate with the County to clear title. If your Deed does not have that language I recommend you contact an estate planning attorney to advise you.
Q. I own 50% of a beach cabin in Oregon. If I die, does my wife receive my 50% share? Want to avoid probate court.
A: The answer to your question depends on the wording on the Deed for the cabin. It's possible that the Deed includes language like "with right of survivorship." In that case, if you die first, the other 50% owner will automatically inherit your share of the cabin. If the Deed does not include this language then your 50% of the cabin goes to your estate (according to your Will). If you do not want to add your wife to the Deed now, the best way to get your share of the cabin to her at your death is to create a Revocable Living Trust and Deed your 50% into the Trust. This avoids probate at your death. Another option is to consider a Transfer on Death Deed. However, be aware that there is an 18 month cloud on the title after your death which could affect the ability to sell the cabin for that time. ... Read More
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Websites & Blogs
Fitzwater Law Website
Fitzwater Law Blog
Contact & Map
6400 SE Lake Rd
Ste. 440
Portland, OR 97015
Telephone: (503) 786-8191