9 Essential Things To Know About Probate in Maine

Posted by: Miss Lue Bode DVM at 24/06/2021 3,468 views

Do you live in Maine and have no idea how to go about the probate process? If that is the case, then you are not the only one. Legalities can be incredibly confusing for people who are not lawyers. Fortunately, we are here to help you out.

In this article, you will find a very comprehensive list of the essential things that you need to know about the Maine probate laws, ranging from whether probate is required in Maine and how you can avoid it to whether the executor of an estate in Maine can be compensated and how much they get paid. Check it out!

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What Is The Most Important Thing To Know About Probate In Maine?

The most important thing to know about probate in Maine is that it is required whenever there is a will or no will to go by. Moreover, if you fail to probate an estate, it can often result in heirs being disinherited.

Can Probate Be A Burden On The Heirs?

Yes, it can. If you fail to probate an estate, then the deceased person's assets will be frozen, and no one will be able to access them. This can make it impossible for the heirs to pay their bills or hold onto the property they were supposed to inherit. It is also possible that they could be disinherited if creditors get involved in a fight over access to the deceased person's assets.

How Much It Will Cost You on Average?

The cost of probate in Maine can vary depending on several factors such as the complexity of the estate, hiring a lawyer, paying any court fees, or covering travel expenses. Because of that, it’s hard to give an exact number in regards to cost.

How Can You Avoid Probate In Maine?

You can avoid probate in Maine by establishing a living trust. This process involves transferring the title to real estate and other assets into the name of your trust. The person you designate as trustee will have full control over those assets. If you decide to create a living trust, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney, as this process can be complicated.

Who Is Required To File For Probate In Maine?

In Maine, only the executor of an estate must file for probate. They are responsible for gathering and keeping all of the deceased person's assets, paying off any debts and taxes, and distributing any remaining assets according to the deceased person's wishes, if known (if there are no clear wishes, then the laws of intestacy will be followed).

What Is The Deadline For Filing For Probate In Maine?

If you are the executor of an estate, then you have nine months from the date of the decedent's death to file for probate. If you miss that deadline, then you lose any right to administer the estate.

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Can The Executor Of An Estate In Maine Be Compensated?

Yes, the executor of an estate in Maine can be compensated for their services. However, they cannot be compensated until all expenses have been paid and all debts and taxes have been settled. Moreover, the executor has to keep copies of all the receipts and record their time for verification. Maine laws do not state how much exactly the executor has to be paid.

What Are The Major Benefits Of Probate In Maine?

The major benefit of probate is that it allows the court to oversee and verify the legitimacy of an estate. This ensures that everyone is being treated fairly and no one is being disinherited or taken advantage of.

How Is Probate Processed?

Probate is conducted in one of the several probate courts throughout the state. The executor files the will with the court, and then a date for the hearing is set. Some additional documents may need to be filed depending on your situation. 

If there are other heirs besides those who are named in the will, then they have a right to contest its validity at the hearing. They can also dispute the executor's decision on how to distribute assets. At the end of the process, if there are any assets still left, they are distributed according to state law.

Conclusion

Probate is a crucial legal process that must be completed whenever a deceased person leaves a will. However, it can be pretty overwhelming for novices and complex for those who are not lawyers.

We hope that this article was helpful, and now you know everything about filing for probate in Maine, dealing with all the potential issues, and taking all the necessary steps. Moreover, now you are familiar with the benefits and drawbacks of probate and can be prepared for anything. However, if you have any further questions or experience problems filing for probate in Maine, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.

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