When a loved one has passed away, their estate may enter the probate or estate administration process. Family members and beneficiaries can be faced with difficult decisions during this process, particularly if there are not estate planning documents or existing documents are out-of-date.
The probate process can involve a significant amount of legal responsibility, and the court-managed process of probate can be confusing. Our goal at Injured Workers' Legal Center is to simplify this process for estate executors and administrators by guiding them through the legal challenges so they can focus on coping with their loss.
We can be a trusted partner for your probate administration needs. Contact our office to arrange a free telephone consultation and learn more about your options.
The Process For Probate Administration In Maine
Many people are afraid of the probate process because of its potential cost and the length of time it takes to complete the process. These factors are completely dependent, however, on the complexity of the estate and any disputes that arise in the process. Typically, most cases go through the following steps:
- A petition is filed with the probate court.
- Heirs and beneficiaries are notified as they are outlined in the will (these may be statutory heirs if no will exists).
- An executor referred to as personal representative in Maine is appointed through petition filing.
- The estate is appraised and inventory is taken of the estate's assets.
- Creditors are identified and debts are paid out of the estate's assets (in some cases, assets will be liquidated to pay debts).
- Estate taxes will be paid.
- Assets may be sold.
- Remaining assets (physical property and financial assets) will be distributed to the heirs and beneficiaries.
Throughout this process, the estate executor is required to act in the best interest of the estate and its heirs, even if he or she is also an heir. The estate executor may also face challenges in resolving disputes caused by will contests and other claims against the estate.
This can be a complex process, which is why you are well-advised to seek legal counsel. Our firm has the experience you need and the personal service you deserve during this difficult time. Contact us online or call 800-852-8554 to arrange a consultation.