Probate can be challenging and overwhelming for an individual or family who does not understand the process. In reality, most people don’t deal with probate until the passing of a loved one. This circumstance may not occur every day, but when it does, it can be an emotional, confusing, and frustrating time. However, you do not have to go through the probate process alone. It’s wise to seek the counsel of an experienced probate attorney in Lewiston, ME. An experienced attorney can address any concerns and frustrations towards the probate process and explain how to best deal with your unique situation.
Probates are not all the same. Every individual is different and so are their estates. Some probates may be more complicated than others, while others are simple and straightforward. Often, what seems to be a smooth process turns out to be complicated because of unforeseen factors with family, assets, guardianship designation, debts, and legal obligations. It is best to consult with a skilled probate attorney in Lewiston, ME as soon as possible to help mitigate any issues. Michael L. Dubois, P.A. Attorney at Law, can help you and your family with all your probate needs.
What Is Probate In The State Of Maine?
The Probate Courts deal with several important matters affecting individuals and families. One aspect of the probate process addresses the final administration of the estate of a deceased person. The issues that are dealt with in probate involve the distribution of a decedent’s assets and payment of any claims brought against the estate. Other areas of probate have nothing to do with estates of decedents. They deal with guardianships and conservatorships of minors and guardianships and conservatorships of incapacitated adults.
- What Is Probate In The State Of Maine?
- What Are Some High-Risk Factors For Probate Litigation To Occur?
Summary Of The Probate Process In Maine
The probate process settles an estate under the supervision of the court. Probate courts in Maine are run by each county. The courts handle all legal cases concerning wills, estates, and guardianships, whether presented individually or through an attorney. If there is no will left by a decedent, the court will appoint a spouse or adult son or daughter to be the executor or personal representative (PR) of the estate. If a will is in place, then the court usually appoints the person named in the will to be the personal representative or executor. The personal representative is able to gather and value the assets under the estate legally. Once the assets are collected and evaluated, the personal representative can pay creditors, debts, bills, and taxes. The personal representative can also distribute the assets to the beneficiaries of the estate. Once the estate has been settled in its entirety, the court will issue an order stating that the estate is closed.
Probate proceedings in Maine can be informal, unsupervised formal, and supervised formal. Depending on the type of probate, your case will fall under one of these categories. Informal probate is the simplest of all probates. Usually, there are no issues among the beneficiaries, and there no creditor matters to resolve. An unsupervised formal and supervised formal probate requires a court proceeding. During unsupervised formal probate, a judge has to approve some of the personal representative’s actions toward the estate. In a supervised formal probate, the judge or court has to approve of all activities in the distribution of an estate.
However, not all probate processes are cut and dry or as simple as going to court, settling the estate and getting it closed. A lot can happen in between the process. Paperwork could be incomplete or inaccurate, which would cause delays and add to rising court costs. Feuds among family members can surface over the assets and the estate in general, especially if there is no will. Consulting a probate attorney in Lewiston, ME can save an estate from chaos.
Experienced Maine Trust and Estates Attorney Helps Guide You Through the Process
Probate follows what is typically a painful emotional loss. The knowledgeable, meticulous probate law firm of Michael L. Dubois, P.A. Attorney at Law has over 33 years of experience in probate law and knows how to ease the stress of probate by guiding executors and beneficiaries through the complex process.
Most executors have rarely if ever probated a will and know little about the process. Attorney Michael L. Dubois can guide you through the complex probate process, including:
- Filing the will with the Maine probate court
- Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously probating the estate
- Finding and collecting assets
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying estate taxes
- Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring experts, when appropriate
Valuing And Managing The Estate
Our firm assists executors with the arduous process of collecting, managing, valuing, protecting and liquidating the assets of the estate. Michael L. Dubois, P.A. Attorney at Law has a team of experts available to assist in every aspect of estate probate. When appropriate, the firm calls upon accountants, financial advisers, real estate agents, property managers and other professionals to assist with executor duties. We can access expert opinions about unique assets such as antiques, rare books, automobiles and other collectibles for accurate valuation, management and possible sale.
Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between beneficiaries. Our firm’s professional courtroom presence can calm the emotionally-charged process of probating a challenged will, or disputed executor or judicial decision. When it is in the best interests of the client to preserve cordial familial relationships, we are adept at mediating these disputes. When necessary, our firm assertively defends our client’s beneficiary rights within the Maine probate court.
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