Maine Probate Attorney
Our Knowledgeable Topsham Probate Lawyers Can Help
The loss of a loved one is always a difficult time. For many, sadness and stress of this event is further aggravated by the probate process. At Moncure & Barnicle, our dedicated and skilled legal team of Maine probate lawyers near you understand the sensitive nature of this practice area.
We realize that probate often throws grieving loved ones into legal obligations they are not equipped for. That is why we have built our reputation on bringing thorough, vigilant, and reliable counsel to these clients and help them complete their probate responsibilities and solve any complications as soon as possible.
How Does Probate Work in Maine?
Probate is the process of resolving the estate of the deceased and ensuring that any debts are paid and inheritances are properly passed along to beneficiaries. This can be a drawn-out and legally complex process that, if not properly handled, often leads to family conflicts, remaining debts, liabilities, and other complications.
Central to the probate process in the state of Maine is the "personal representative," or the person more commonly known as the executor. These are individuals that were chosen by the deceased or appointed by the court to be responsible for organizing, distributing and resolving the estate. This can be a daunting task and requires a multi-phase process to properly carry out.
In cases where there is a will, much of the probate process can be conducted in accordance to testate law. However, even in these cases, there are often considerations that the will does not address. There are tax obligations to handle and expenses to manage. Without careful navigation, a personal representative can violate a will's provisions, state law, or any one of their responsibilities to manage and close the estate.
What Are The Duties of An Executor?
The personal representative's responsibilities include:
- Collecting, inventorying, and appraising all assets
- Protecting all assets
- Paying any remaining taxes and debts of the deceased or the estate
- Distribute assets to beneficiaries according to a will or the law of intestacy
- Close all estate proceedings
About Closing Probate Estate In Maine
Closing a probate estate in Maine involves several steps and can be a complex process. It is advisable to consult with experienced probate lawyers near you who are well-versed in Maine probate laws and can guide you through the necessary procedures.
At Moncure & Barnicle, our probate attorneys have years of experience in handling probate matters in Maine. We understand the intricacies involved in closing a probate estate and are committed to providing knowledgeable and reliable legal assistance.
To close a probate estate in Maine, the following steps are generally involved:
- File to Open Probate: The court then approves the executor or appoints someone if a person was not named in the will
- Notifying Heirs: This happens within 30 days after the executor is appointed
- Inventory and Accounting: The personal representative of the estate is responsible for preparing an inventory of the estate's assets and providing an accounting of all transactions related to the estate administration.
- Payment of Debts and Taxes: The executor must satisfy any outstanding debts and taxes owed by the estate. This includes filing final income tax returns and paying any estate taxes or inheritance taxes that may be applicable.
- Distribution of Assets: Once debts and taxes are settled, the remaining assets of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs according to the terms of the will or Maine intestacy law if there is no will.
- Final Accounting and Report: The personal representative must file a final accounting and report with the probate court, detailing the estate's administration, the distribution of assets, and any expenses incurred during the probate process.
- Petition for Closing: The personal representative files a petition with the probate court to request the formal closure of the probate estate.
By working with a knowledgeable probate attorney near you, you can ensure that all legal requirements are met, deadlines are adhered to, and the estate is closed efficiently and effectively.
How Long Does It Take to Probate a Will in Maine?
The duration of probate can vary depending on several factors, such as the value and complexity of the estate and the existence of a will. However, most estates are settled in about 9 to 18 months.
What Can I Expect at a Probate Hearing?
The proposed personal representative will be required to give a basic testimony at the probate hearing that will aid the court in deciding whether it should approve the estate. Once the petition to probate the estate has been permitted, the court will issue Letters Testamentary that appoints the personal representative to the estate and allows him or her to carry out the necessary duties.
Counsel & Compassion You Can Count On
Whether you are a personal representative dealing with probate for the first time or a beneficiary who believes that your inheritance is being jeopardized, our team at Moncure & Barnicle can help.
Why Do Clients Choose Moncure & Barnicle?
- Our Maine attorneys are award-winning and industry-recognized
- Our wide scope of services lets us bring multi-discipline approach to cases
- The Times Record chose us as "The Best of Midcoast Law Firm"
- Our track history of successful results and satisfied clients
- Committed and attentive service for every one of our clients
- Free and confidential case evaluations to review your legal options
Our dedicated professionals are ready to assess your probate needs and ensure that your legal obligations are satisfied and rights are protected during this difficult time.
Contact Moncure & Barnicle Today
If you are looking for a probate attorney near you in Maine, we are here to help. Contact Moncure & Barnicle to schedule a consultation and benefit from our years of experience in handling probate matters. We can guide you through the process of closing the probate estate and provide the legal support you need during this time.
The answers and guidance you need are just a phone call away. Call us at (207) 209-2902 to request a free case evaluation.