Think also, about the fact that the probate code is four hundred pages long and consists of two hundred forty thousand words. For instance in second marriages, or with ancestral real property, or perhaps the couple simply had an understanding. After fifteen years of marriage, the surviving wife, or surviving husband is entitled to the full 50% of the augmented estate. In the instance of joint bank accounts in Maine, the bank is now required to find out what your intentions were when creating the account. Finally, a Personal Representative may have to file an estate tax return if required by law or needed for further tax planning. Augusta, Maine 04333-0007 Data for this page extracted on 11/25/2020 14:51:37. Filling out the correct Probate Petition, filing it, giving the necessary notice to all interested parties and proving jurisdiction over necessary parties to the Probate Court. The elective share statute attempts to create a kind of divorce-like division of a dead person’s estate, only without the benefit of a divorce lawsuit. It also outlines the procedure to prove a will. That means that if your waiver is in writing, and signed voluntarily, and the spouse who signed it had full disclosure of all of your property, and had their own attorney represent them, and voluntarily waived the right to know about any property not disclosed, and the waiver said that the spouse waived all rights, the Court can still say, “no, we don’t like this we think it is unfair” and give the surviving spouse a right to fifty percent of everything. But the probate procedure, at least on the face of it, is meant to be a self-help affair. The joint account holder may simply have set up the account for convenience. The elective share is something the law created to prevent a married person from disinheriting a spouse. Affidavits for the collection of property is allowed in Maine. Get a free probate or estate administration consult from a probate attorney. Of course, in many cases stepchildren are considered no different from blood relations by their stepfamily. Copies of the Petition and pleadings must be served on all other interested persons. Should his step-kid get the Rolex? Many people may not realize that a joint account holder could withdraw all of the money if the other joint account holder dies. You can obtain probate forms online here. That means that some of the best attorneys and judges in Maine took a model probate code, and adopted it for use here. Accompanying the court order appointing a Personal Representative and declaring the heirs of a decedent are documents showing proof of a Personal Representative’s authority to act on behalf of an estate. Maine has what is called “informal probate”. TTY: 711 Relay. Don’t get me wrong, this is well intentioned. That will determine if you can file an informal or expedited application or must file a formal or hearing-necessary probate application. Receiving your certificate of appointment as Personal Representative. 10. Maine has a streamlined probate system. The Letters typically expire after a few years, though courts will “renew” them if the Personal Representative needs additional time to administer the estate. What are some of the reasons you might need to do a formal probate? The Personal Representative must notify known creditors. An anti lapse statute is part of the Maine probate code. Obtain a tax identification number for the estate and open an estate bank account. Typically, the Public Administrator is appointed Personal Representative for an estate with unclaimed funds. What about a federal thrift savings plan? We sent the notice, as required by law, along with a copy of the will. It is also important to claim the fee as income on your personal tax return. Portland, ME 04112-0792. The duties of a Personal Representative are relatively standard although, as mentioned above, an estate can be administered in a supervised or unsupervised fashion. Because the Maine Probate Code says this “children of the decedent are entitled jointly to the ($15,000); however, the decedent, by will, may exclude one or more adult children from the receipt of exempt property.”. Select the form title to view details for each form. In other words, do not assume what the law is. Why is it important to know about the probate process? Forms 10/10, Features Set 10/10, Ease of Use 10/10, Customer Service 10/10. The Probate Clerk will file that notice for you if you wish. How could the lawyer do that? They must also attempt to find unknown creditors, typically accomplished by publishing a legal notice in a newspaper in the county where probate occurs. There are many reasons why people waive their right of election. Who gets it? Before making an estate plan, it is very important to know how the law could change your will, or the division of your property in ways that you did not expect. What does this look like in real life? Why? The reasonable costs, and expenses have priority over creditor claims. The new Maine Uniform Probate Code adopted in 2018 becomes effective September 1, 2019. That is what we call a “disinherited heir”. What is it exempt from? If we can translate your goals and concerns into an estate plan that avoids probate, that does not give notice to the persons interested in contesting your estate, that does not rely on the clumsy imprecise tools of the POD or joint account, or the transfer on death deed, we will have succeeded. “Probate” is the process under which the assets of a deceased person are distributed. That means that in certain circumstances you can make your own rules about what is to be done with you and your property if you are mentally incapacitated or die. Then you die. If there is insufficient liquidity in the estate to pay all debts and creditors, the Personal Representative may negotiate on behalf of the estate or even deny certain claims. Article 6 does not apply to business accounts, or trust accounts. Not so fast. Does it go back into the “pot” of your assets for someone else? We make it easy to get a probate bond. Should You Hire a Lawyer to Probate the Will? Determine who gets what as dictated by the will, interpretations of ambiguous language, the anti-lapse statute, or other provisions of the probate code. Or is this simply a shake down? The York County Registry of Probate also serves as a certified passport application acceptance facility. In order to transfer ownership of real property after someone dies, you need to find the last recorded property deed. In most cases, no judge is involved, unless there is disagreement between heirs, a disagreement involving creditors or if there are irregularities in the execution of the Will. That person dies before you. The reason I dwell on these subjects is to inform the reader that there are rules that may change what they thought their will was going to do. © 2016 Penbay Estate Planning Law Center, LLC All Rights Reserved. How hard is it in Maine to disinherit a child? So you can judge for yourself, I’m going to state here what the will said: “I now have in mind my daughter Jane Doe, but leave my estate as hereinafter follows.” And what follows is that he left Jane nothing. Why? Can you disinherit a child in Maine? I suspect that there is no requirement to obtain the statement. We review each application for an executor bonds and then submit it to the surety that we believe will provide the best fidelity bond for your estate. Attention Human Resource Department. Because not knowing could cost you a lot of money. The next inquiry is whether the decedent’s assets require probate at all. If the decedent was not a Maine resident, file the will in any county where the decedent owned property (see Resources). Either they wanted their will to dictate, or they simply had no plan. Some tips, traps, and when you should consider hiring a probate lawyer. You can also call us at (979) 314-2999. Click the gray + to expand the grid and view the details. The Cumberland County Probate Court is seeking to expand its roster of court appointed attorneys. The Maine probate process serves a vital purpose. What are the “limitations and conditions”? If you are reading this article, you have time to make an estate plan! Once the court accepts the Petition, a hearing must be scheduled, and notice of this hearing must be sent to all {known) interested persons. Expenses, such as court costs and attorney fees, are paid from the estate before valid creditor claims. As an estate, probate, and business attorney in Portland, Maine, I am proud to work with individuals, families, and business owners here in Portland, and across the state. When we die. Estates undergoing supervised administration often take years to settle and close. The Maine Uniform Probate Code has a provision called the “Elective Share”. A devisee is just an old-fashioned word for someone given something in a will. Maine has a simplified probate process for small estates. When is it that you cannot speak for yourself? But unless you are very good at what one of my clients called “word puzzles” I would not bother. There are prescribed timelines during which a Personal Representative must accomplish the duties set forth above, but not all documents are filed with the court or even served upon all parties. If the estate earns income after the decedent’s death, the Personal Representative must file estate income tax returns. This is months of time during which real estate taxes pile up, and my client cannot sell the estate’s real property. In reality in all but the simplest of estates, it is typically impossible to complete an administration within six months. He or she may have to file past income tax returns if it is discovered the decedent had to file but did not do so during his or her lifetime. If you have a friend or loved one who named you as the Personal Representative in their will, you need to determine if you should hire a lawyer to probate the will. § 2-403” therefore, Jane Doe is entitled to money. Another name for Probate, is Estate Administration. That means you can obtain the forms you need, and file them, online. This objection can result in several responses between interested parties and the dissatisfied party requesting a formal hearing in front of the judge. Protecting assets while you are alive is not what probate is meant to do. It is one of those default rules I was telling you about. So, what is Probate? 45 Kennebunk Rd. Distributing estate assets may include specific devises, or the Personal Representative may have to distribute assets in certain proportions to certain individuals. Applications & Resumes can be dropped off at the County Government building at 149 Jordan Springs Road, Alfred, Maine between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or mailed to 45 Kennebunk Road, Alfred, ME. Unfortunately, now, these asset transfer methods have taken on some of the byzantine complexity, and well-intentioned and some might argue, new sources of potential litigation. Making an estate plan with an experienced estate planning lawyer is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out. But it is tricky. Also, you should keep track of any necessary outlay of money that you have to make on behalf of the estate. But sometimes there are very good reasons to avoid the right of election. These rules will tell you who is eligible to serve as the Personal Representative of the estate. Just click here to get our Maine Probate Application. There are many reasons why you would choose to use a lawyer to probate a will. Does that make any sense. The benefit of having the Probate Clerk file the notice to creditors is that it is likely to comply with the statute, and the fee is no more than you would otherwise pay. The phone number for Oxford County Probate Court is 207-743-6671 and the fax number is 207-743-4255. A good estate plan will ensure that your wishes are carried out. But a waiver is not a simple proposition. The Maine probate code states that the Personal Representative is entitled to “reasonable compensation”. But many people choose to have a lawyer. Again, just like the substantive probate rules, probate procedure rules may surprise you. You cannot speak for yourself when you are under a disability. Yes, you can. The probate process dictates how the collection, management, and distribution of a deceased person's estate will be carried out. There’s no fee if the estate is under £5,000. Under the Probate Code, when you are probating a will, you are required to send a notice to that disinherited heir. The length of the hearing will depend on the issues, controversies, and parties involved in the estate. The Personal Representative must pay all debts of the decedent and claims against the estate. The judge may require a full hearing and issue an order to resolve the inventory objection, or the judge may order the parties to mediate the inventory issue. In Maine, the Governor appoints a Public Administrator in each county to serve a 4 year term. After completing all administration steps and fulfilling all duties as Personal Representative, he or she may close the estate. The gift says, give it to this person, but this person is dead. Showing forms matching "Probate Estate" in Maine Legal Forms Library This page shows a list of forms contained in the forms database that match the terms Probate Estate for the State of Maine. When a resident of Maine dies, the Maine probate courts oversee the distribution of all assets and belongings left behind. But there are two pitfalls to this. After that, a “successor” to the decedent (a spouse or heir) signs the affidavit and presents the affidavit to collect the decedent’s assets for distribution to his or her rightful heirs. Supervised administration or supervised probate requires court oversight and approval of the actions of a Persona! Probate law governs how our assets and our bodies are to be managed and disposed of during a period of disability, and after we die. Having no will, and no will substitute means you have an “intestate probate”. Administrative Office of the Courts. Get the approval of all the beneficiaries for the proposed distribution of the estate assets, and if the statute of limitations has run, and everyone signs off, and you’ve filed any necessary final tax return, and paid all the taxes, then distribute the assets – perhaps holding something in reserve for a brief time. Select the form title to view details for each form. Probate is not just the official recognition of a will, and appointment of the Personal Representative under the will of a deceased person. Are you comfortable with the income tax code? Address, email address and telephone number of Applicant: 3. No. The state and federal taxing authorities sometimes audit Personal Representatives personal income tax returns to determine if the expense item listed on the estate tax return for the fee of the Personal Representative actually shows up on the income tax return as income to the Personal Representative. The state’s informal system allows for a will and appointment of a personal representative, usually within one to two weeks of application. Full legal name of Applicant: 2. To date, 18 states, now including Maine, have fully adopted the UPC, and all but a few states have adopted the UPC at least in part. Generally, affidavits require the passing of  time from the date of a decedent’s death-ranging from a few days to a few months. Maine Government Interested persons include nominated Personal Representatives, persons with priority of appointment as Personal Representative, spouses, children, devisees under a Will, creditors, and other parties as authorized by state law. Closing an estate may be done formally or informally. And if you would like to hire a Maine probate lawyer, you can call this number 207-236-4888. That is an oversimplification, but you get the idea. The fact is, there are many laws on the books that are the opposite of what you think they may be. But also, in my experience, just as many people expected their joint accounts to belong to the survivor, as did not. In further answer to this question, consider the complexity of the probate process. What if you don’t have a will when you die? The bad thing about reasonable is that it can be argued about what is reasonable. In Maine each county has a Probate Court which is a judicial branch of state government. Once again, the law is not intuitive or clear or easy to understand. To encourage uniformity in probate codes and procedure in 1969, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, also known as the Uniform Law Commission, with the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association, created the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). If there is a Will, it needs to be submitted to the probate court. But sometimes the order of steps can be different. Maine passed a new probate law a short while ago. In other words, you do not need a lawyer to probate a will. Yes, you heard that right. Showing forms matching "Probate Executor" in Maine Legal Forms Library This page shows a list of forms contained in the forms database that match the terms Probate Executor for the State of Maine. But nevertheless the lawyer is making that claim. You see, they want to make sure that you did not surreptitiously transfer everything away before you died in order to avoid the right of election. In the 2019 version of the Maine Probate Code stepchildren are now included in Maine’s anti lapse statute. Does that surprise you? Reasons for supervised administration of an estate {and supervision of the actions of a Personal Representative) include but are not limited to contentions between parties, heirs, creditors, and other interested persons, and questions or controversies surrounding a Personal Representative’s actions. Because the plain language of a will may be contradicted by the Probate laws, or how those laws have been interpreted by the Courts. Maine has adopted a version of the Uniform Probate Code. They both are elected to four year terms by the citizens in each county. However, there are general steps to follow Probate for administration of an estate where the individual died either with a will, or without a will (and without a will substitute). 2. If the estate is really small, and the only value in the estate is the exempt property, the property can be distributed, and the only requirement is to file a closing statement with the Probate Clerk. Like the list of questions that suggest you should hire a probate lawyer, the general process of probate outlined in this article might suggest to you that you should hire a probate lawyer. You had not looked at your will in years. Who should get the gift? Probate application fees. If you are a Personal Representative, or “executor” it is important to understand all of the tasks and obligations you must undertake in order to avoid personal liability. You simply say in your will that this child does not get anything. But it may not be the intention that the joint account holder “inherits” the account if you die. The anti-lapse statute says that if you make a gift in your will to certain people who are family members, if one of those people dies before you, the gift you made will go to their kids or grand-kids, etc. So, if you are married, and you die, if your spouse does not like your will, they can instead claim a share that is calculated based on the value of the estate. There are several requirements that must be met. Select the form title to view details for each form. Most of the articles advising you to avoid probate are directed at residents of states which have a much more complicated probate system than Maine’s system. 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