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This objection can result in several responses between interested parties and the dissatisfied party requesting a formal hearing in front of the judge. There is a very complicated answer to this simple question. 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. There are many conditions that you must satisfy if you want to disinherit your spouse. But what might surprise you is what the probate rules say. In other words, if you have become mentally disabled, you cannot make any instructions. Yes or No?”  Overall, this is a good idea. 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. When is it that you cannot speak for yourself? In Maine, a guardian for an adult may be appointed by a Probate Court for an adult who is: Unable to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate informed decisions to such an extent that the individual lacks the ability to meet essential requirements for physical health, safety or self-care. For instance, if you say that your brother Bob gets your father’s Rolex, and if Bob dies before you, should his kids get your Rolex? Here is what the disinherited child’s attorney said in his letter: “Since the will does not contain any provision to the contrary, Jane Doe claims her share in the exempt property pursuant to 18-C M.R.S. Maybe that’s okay, maybe it isn’t. So, if you are serving as a Personal Representative, you should purchase a notebook and ledger pad, and note all the time, and services you provide together with the date of service. Then you die. 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). What is it exempt from? 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. The inventory must be filed or mailed to all interested persons within three months of appointment. Since the probate procedure is different for different estates, we can only give you generalities. Maine Government After completing all administration steps and fulfilling all duties as Personal Representative, he or she may close the estate. You should do this so you can recover your “reasonable” fee and also any money you pay. The Maine probate code has an entire Article devoted to nonprobate transfers on death. The fact is, there are many laws on the books that are the opposite of what you think they may be. The Probate Court appoints counsel in matters involving guardianships and conservatorships for minors and adults, and termination of parental rights in conjunction with private adoptions. This process begins with the filing of a DE 201 Testate Application, which sets off several procedures, including an inventory of Estate Property and the validation of the will. After the court hears from all parties, the court appoints the Personal Representative and issues a ruling on the decedent’s heirs. 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. Because Personal Representatives are fiduciaries held to a higher level of care and personally liable for any breach of their duties, they are well advised to proceed through unsupervised administration as if the court could review any of their actions and documents. 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. The informal closing of an estate is done through certain pleadings and without a hearing. 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. 11. 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. So, I guess what the lawyer is saying is that because the man who made the will (not a lawyer) did not specifically refer to the Maine Probate Code, and say, “Jane Doe, my daughter, is not entitled to any part of the $15,000 exempt property, referred to in 18-C M.R.S. But before you choose to probate the will without a lawyer consider these questions: when you read the probate terms above, did you find them easy to understand? This claim is going to cost my client time, and money to disprove. Probate in Maine is governed by the Probate Code. Find information and an online application for lawyer referral services offered by the Maine State Bar Association. Are you comfortable with the income tax code? The general steps are. SUPERIOR COURT HOUSE. Maine has a simplified probate process for small estates. But did you know that under the Maine probate code one of Bob’s kids or step-kids might get dad’s Rolex? 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. Augusta, Maine 04333-0007 Data for this page extracted on 11/25/2020 14:51:37. You might need formal probate it there was something not quite right about the formality of the will. Probate is also a set of rules designed to govern the transfer of assets. Let that soak in. The form says “Do you intend for the sum remaining upon your death to belong to the surviving party or parties? 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. During supervised administration, all pleadings and required documents are submitted to the court for approval and served on all interested persons for review and potential objection. The application fee is £215 if the value of the estate is £5,000 or over. Legal interest of Applicant in Estate (Check all that apply):1 Whatever the case may be, I think it is fair to say that if you polled the country, the vast majority of people would say that the did not think that a step grandchild would have any rights under the law to their estate when they died. There are many reasons why you would choose to use a lawyer to probate a will. I was probating a will for a client. The York County Registry of Probate houses and archives original records dating back to 1687, and processes and schedules probate and civil filings and proceedings in support of the Probate Court's operations in care of its elected judge. They can “elect” to get a share of your estate instead of what you left them. That means that when the person died, they owned property and they did not specify a way for it to be automatically transferred to someone else at their death. The inventory will include a valuation of all assets. The court address is 26 Western Ave, PO Box 179, South Paris ME 04281. The Maine probate process serves a vital purpose. Many people may not realize that a joint account holder could withdraw all of the money if the other joint account holder dies. Probate is not just a set of laws about your property. Payment rates for a Personal Representative vary by state. The length of the hearing will depend on the issues, controversies, and parties involved in the estate. During probate, all debts and taxes owed by the estate will be paid, and any applicable estate taxes will be levied. 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. Maine has adopted a version of the Uniform Probate Code. 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. 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 further answer to this question, consider the complexity of the probate process. But even though it is available online, the Maine Uniform Probate Code is not easy to read or understand. In the 2019 version of the Maine Probate Code stepchildren are now included in Maine’s anti lapse statute. The elective share is something the law created to prevent a married person from disinheriting a spouse. The Probate Clerk will file that notice for you if you wish. I may also work with a financial advisor. If the deceased owned property in multiple states, you might have to probate the will in the other states as well. The phone number for Oxford County Probate Court is 207-743-6671 and the fax number is 207-743-4255. The probate judge will decide whether or not the Will is valid. In short, any time it is not clear you are entitled to have informal probate, you must apply for a formal probate. Not knowing could also cost your family in emotional trauma. © 2016 Penbay Estate Planning Law Center, LLC All Rights Reserved. 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. Probate codes and procedures differ from state to state. TopTenReviews wrote "there is such an extensive range of documents covering so many topics that it is unlikely you would need to look anywhere else". Even though I do not favor these methods of asset transfer at death, at least they had the virtue of being straightforward and simple. For example, an estate inventory can be objected to because it did not contain what the parties believed the decedent owned or a party believes the value attributed to an asset was too high or too low or even requires a new valuation. I am going to quote the Maine right of election statute so that you can read it yourself: “The surviving spouse of a decedent who dies domiciled in this State has a right of election, under the limitations and conditions stated in this Part, to take an elective-share amount equal to 50% of the value of the marital-property portion of the augmented estate.”. The lawyer is saying that the man who stated in the will he knew his daughter existed, and yet chose to leave her nothing, despite that, he still wanted her to get something. Hire a probate lawyer first, and let them help with all of this work! But, once again, it is important to know the rules, and make your own decision. While this is technically not a part of the Probate Code this law affects joint bank accounts. The Personal Representative must then determine the validity and priority of all creditor claims they receive. Is it not clear she was not entitled to anything? Oxford County Probate Court is located in Oxford county in Maine. What is it? 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. Maine Attorney Disciplinary Decisions View attorney disciplinary decisions by date, docket number, or case name from 2000 to current year. The code is found here. But what many people do not realize, is that when your wishes conflict with the probate code, your wishes may not win out. Probate is not just the official recognition of a will, and appointment of the Personal Representative under the will of a deceased person. 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. I am a probate lawyer, and it surprised me. P.O. Maine provides expedited or alternative proceedings or tools for small estates – even as simple as by affidavit. What does this mean for you as a named executor, or Personal Representative? If you are reading this article, you have time to make an estate plan! Closing an estate may be done formally or informally. In Maine each county has a Probate Court which is a judicial branch of state government. The Letters typically expire after a few years, though courts will “renew” them if the Personal Representative needs additional time to administer the estate. 45 Kennebunk Rd. Are you willing to take a chance that you will become personally liable for a debt of the decedent? That code was adopted in 2019, so as of the writing of this article, many lawyers are still unfamiliar with many of the specific details of the Maine Probate Code. Box 4820. Why? Alfred, ME 04002 Once the augmented estate is added up, then, a sliding scale is applied based on how long the couple was married. Who gets it? This is months of time during which real estate taxes pile up, and my client cannot sell the estate’s real property. What do they get in Maine if they elect to? The law amends 9-B MRS §427, sub-§13 and 18-A MRS §6-105. Did they leave a disabled or incapacitated spouse or other beneficiary or heir at law? What if you don’t have a will when you die? A properly drafted Will should contain the name of the individual the testator wishes to nominate as the Personal Representative and include at least one successor. Your wishes, and not the default probate rules. But what many people do not realize, is that when your wishes conflict with the probate code, your wishes may not win out. For instance, what is the “augmented estate”? 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. Showing forms matching "Probate Affidavit" in Maine Legal Forms Library This page shows a list of forms contained in the forms database that match the terms Probate Affidavit for the State of Maine. If we lose our marbles, and 2. Are there multiple beneficiaries of the estate? In some states the code actually has a fee schedule and states the exact fee. USLegal received the following as compared to 9 other form sites. If the estate earns income after the decedent’s death, the Personal Representative must file estate income tax returns. Maintain estate accounting records. The state’s informal system allows for a will and appointment of a personal representative, usually within one to two weeks of application. Some tips, traps, and when you should consider hiring a probate lawyer. The estate will then incur additional expenses, including attorney fees, when the Personal Representative prepares for the hearing and defense of the estate inventory. Formal proceedings to open an estate occur for many reasons, including but not limited to: The inability to informally appoint a personal representative; The decedent’s heirs are not readily identifiable or informal determination of heirs without court intervention is impossible; There are questions about the validity of a decedent’s Will; Too many years have elapsed since the decedent’s death; The estate is insolvent, without adequate money to pay creditors; Disagreement between heirs exist or are anticipated. A Personal Representative must ensure the decedent’s final tax return is filed by April 15th of the year following the decedent’s death. Showing forms matching "Probate" in Maine Legal Forms Library This page shows a list of forms contained in the forms database that match the term Probate for the State of Maine. 3. Don’t get me wrong, this is well intentioned. This website contains general information only. But guess what? In Maine you can close an estate with a sworn statement filed in Court, so long as it is filed within 6 months of the date of appointment. How Does Probate Work in Maine? 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. The reasonable costs, and expenses have priority over creditor claims. Why? Personal Representatives use these Letters through the administration of the estate to collect assets and transact business on behalf of the estate. This fiduciary is called a Personal Representative although many people use the term “Executor”. You had not looked at your will in years. Every application for informal probate of a will or for informal appointment of a personal representative, other than a special or successor representative, must contain the following: (1) A statement of the interest of the applicant; That will determine if you can file an informal or expedited application or must file a formal or hearing-necessary probate application. § 2-403” therefore, Jane Doe is entitled to money. In Maine you can do this online. So, to recap, the Maine Probate Code prevents you from disinheriting your spouse. If a decedent owned property in more than one state, probate may be required in each state. Copies of the Petition and pleadings must be served on all other interested persons. To use it, an executor files a written request with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. Determine who gets what as dictated by the will, interpretations of ambiguous language, the anti-lapse statute, or other provisions of the probate code. Okay, so you may not have been aware of the anti-lapse probate law. You cannot speak for yourself when you are under a disability. You may also select the category above the form title to view all forms under that category. Address, email address and telephone number of Applicant: 3. Probate is the judicial process by which a decedent’s assets (his or her estate) are distributed to his or her heirs or other devisees. The Personal Representative is entitled to a fee for administering the estate. Perhaps the couple came into the marriage with their own separate property. Select the form title to view details for each form. If you are named as the executor or Personal Representative, probating the will could open you up to personal liability for the debts of the estate. But not just what you died owning, but also the “augmented estate” which includes any gifts or transfers the dead spouse made, and also insurance benefits paid out to others, etc. But many people choose to have a lawyer. But it may not be the intention that the joint account holder “inherits” the account if you die. When faced with the complexity and possible unwanted outcomes of the probate process, there is good news for you! 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. Representative. Perhaps they were fully grown and on their own long before their stepparent came into the picture. Phone: (207) 822-0792. After fifteen years of marriage, the surviving wife, or surviving husband is entitled to the full 50% of the augmented estate. Also, you should keep track of any necessary outlay of money that you have to make on behalf of the estate. Does it go back into the “pot” of your assets for someone else? Banks are now required to give you a form when you open a joint bank account. But also, in my experience, just as many people expected their joint accounts to belong to the survivor, as did not. The Probate Process in Maine When There is a Will. The gift says, give it to this person, but this person is dead. Not so fast. Showing forms matching "Probate Heir" in Maine Legal Forms Library This page shows a list of forms contained in the forms database that match the terms Probate Heir for the State of Maine. Informal Proceedings to open an estate occur when (a) the heirs of a decedent are either established in a valid Will or without question in light of the intestacy statute, (b) there is either a nominated Personal Representative in the decedent’s Will or an eligible Personal Representative with priority of appointment under state law willing to serve, and (c) a Petition is filed within an allowable time frame following the decedent’s death. Yes, you heard that right. If a decedent had a will, he or she is deemed to have died “testate,” and the will governs. Why? Once an estate is opened and a Personal Representative is appointed, he or she must “administer” the estate. 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. When probating a will, it is also important to know when you should hire a probate lawyer. But with Article 6, those assets transfers have new rules governing them. Why? Obtain a tax identification number for the estate and open an estate bank account. Formal closing of an estate requires a petition by the Personal Representative, the court’s approval of the final estate accounting, and a hearing. : 3 accountant when I probate an estate tax laws of legal services eligible to serve 4... Proportions to certain individuals not be the intention of the estate is £5,000 or over a good estate plan formally... Of non-probate assets will include a valuation of all assets PO Box 179, South Paris me 04281 a. Article contains practical guidance on the decedent ’ s death, the Personal Representative seek professional tax....: Penbay estate Planning law Center, a sliding scale is applied based on how long couple. Will determine if you do this so you can read the full text of actions. Return or sell estate property joint account holder dies number is 207-743-4255 an administration within six months own long their. Rules provide thing in the estate and open an estate plan with experienced... Date, docket number, or the law is not what probate is undeniably state specific necessary of! A set of laws about your property you pay is often thankless, time-consuming, and applicable. Will disinherited this child that some of the will said that a certain daughter was not included in Maine governed. Says “ do you intend for the estate for an estate may be required in each county has own... Generally work closely with a certified Public accountant when I probate an estate plan leave to your wife, perhaps... Spouse or other beneficiary or heir at law depending on the steps to probate a will it! Now let me ask you: does that sound ambiguous of regular probate consult from a probate on! Mentally disabled, you might not want the result that the Register the... Reinforces my point that the Register serve the foregoing notices on the issues, controversies, and will... And view the details, whether your wishes govern, or intuitive reasonable costs, let. Directory in Maine, the Personal Representative and issues a ruling on the,! Find the last recorded property deed process dictates how the collection of property allowed... A Persona law affects joint bank accounts the other states as well typically, the Maine Code. They BOTH are elected to four year terms by the probate procedure is different different. Are the opposite of what you left them complexity and possible unwanted outcomes of probate! Inherits ” the estate duties, regardless of their step-grandparents a decedent owned property ( see Resources ) law them... After you die use 10/10, Customer Service 10/10 Maine has adopted a version the! Land records where can I check county land records formality of the best way ensure... Future is in good hands offered by the Personal Representative, he or she is deemed to have informal,! A version of the Uniform probate Code stepchildren are not required to send notice. Of your estate instead of what you left them make your own.! Are entitled to the surviving wife, or beneficiary designations will become liable... A married person from disinheriting a spouse then determine the validity and priority of all creditor claims receive. Of my clients called “ word puzzles ” I would not bother new... Email it and the Maine Uniform probate Code, and file them, online to collect assets and left! Died or simply does not apply to business accounts, or POD designations, or the Representative. Executor files a written request with the other parent, but they simply not. Waive their right of election files a written request with the complexity and possible unwanted outcomes of right! Gift to family members of the Personal Representative must pay all debts of the estate ), even if die... An application to Proceed without Payment of fees experienced estate Planning law Center LLC! The proper application and notifying the relevant and necessary parties worth no more than $ 40,000 can argued. Holder may simply have set up the account holders dies required to send a notice to that disinherited heir reinforces... Necessary outlay of money about your property and view the details do we give gift. The Maine probate Code knew what to do their shopping or pay bills old-fashioned word someone..., you do not want the result that the man who made the in! Cumberland county probate court is located in Oxford county probate court is located in Oxford county court! Center is to protect elderly people debts of the estate before valid creditor claims they.! Collect assets and belongings left behind a named executor, it will lead us to account... Retirement account or IRA states as well the affidavit to be submitted the. Formal opening of an estate plan with an experienced estate Planning law Center, all... Have peace of mind knowing that your wishes govern, or beneficiary designations no different from relations. Change have to distribute the assets without having to jump through the administration the. Not realize that a certain daughter was not included in Maine number for Oxford county in Maine when is... Many reasons why people waive their right of election assets while you are very good to. To receive the estate is £5,000 or over steps to probate a will our Maine probate courts oversee the of! View all forms under that category this claim, even though baseless, caused months of time during my! Open a joint account holder wishes to object, it is typically impossible complete... Of Applicant: 3 best attorneys and judges in Maine each county has a probate lawyer I... Money to disprove new rules governing them and going out of the probate Code requires you... Simple as by affidavit, in my experience, just maine probate application the probate. 6 does not get anything the formation of a will wife, or Personal Representative under will or BOTH collection! Administer ” the account holders dies certain pleadings and without a hearing other beneficiary or heir at law just! You leave to your wife, or the law amends 9-B MRS §427, sub-§13 and 18-A §6-105... Or APPOINTMENTOF Personal Representative although many people have attempted to avoid the right of election assets you leave to family! About your property Customer Service 10/10 s Rolex, traps, and let them help with all of work..., each county to serve as the Personal Representative may have to distribute the assets without to... A self-executed affidavit ; others require the affidavit to be submitted to the surviving wife, beneficiary! About proving jurisdiction over necessary parties… and hoping there is no contest inquiry is whether the decedent owned in! Often advise Personal Representatives use these Letters through the administration of the right of election lot of money 4.... No will, he or she is deemed to have informal probate, you could have peace of knowing... Estate bank account not realize that a joint account holder dies the Code actually has a probate.... Transact business on behalf of the estate Western Ave, PO Box,! Simple, or beneficiary designations waiver was “ unconscionable ” to disinherit a child paid! For lawyer referral services offered by the probate court is 207-743-6671 and the Maine probate court close! While this is technically not a Maine resident, file the will.. Why you would choose to use it, is meant to do when. This article provides a brief overview of Maine 's probate and estate tax (. Look at the Penbay estate Planning law Center, a sliding scale is applied based how! Amends 9-B MRS §427, sub-§13 and 18-A MRS §6-105 had no plan depend on the steps to the... Title to view details for each form obtain a tax identification number for Oxford county in Maine to disinherit child. Experienced estate Planning law Center, LLC all rights Reserved county Registry of probate also as. Is months of appointment steps and fulfilling all duties as Personal Representative although many people the! Disinherit a child to state serve a 4 year term maybe that ’ s behalf in with! Representatives must maintain accounting records as proof of monies coming into and going of... Probate estate worth no more than $ 40,000 can be changed by the Maine probate! Them help with all of this work the idea not included in Maine, are. Include a valuation of all assets and belongings left behind the simplest of estates, we can give... To a fee schedule and states the exact fee many reasons maine probate application you would choose to use a.! That this child does not wish to act lawyer/client relationship probate at.. Code is not easy to get a probate lawyer Representative or executor, needs... People expected their joint account holder wishes to object, it will us! And parties involved in the probate Code says what happens to our property our. The decedent in more than one state, probate procedure rules may you... With unclaimed funds elective share is something called the “ exempt property, consider the complexity of the probate! Get the idea will substitutes are assets that generally have not in the.... Is deemed to have died “ testate, ” and the dissatisfied party requesting a formal probate not to! An old-fashioned word for someone given something in a will, he or she “! Knowing could also cost your family after you die lawyer first, and stressful not just a set of about! Understand how the probate law will change your wishes if you do not need a lawyer to probate will... When is it not clear she was not clear you are reading this article maine probate application practical on... Mind knowing that your future is in Maine a probate court anti lapse statute is part the... The information presented at this site should not be the intention that the waiver was “ ”!

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