Maine Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: Should I contest the amount the state of Maine wants from my deceased aunts estate?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Ben F Meek III's answer
It's not possible to give meaningful guidance with such little information. Are these demands from the state related to Medicaid payments for your aunt's medical care? If not, what is the demand related to? If for medical bills, you would have to compare what your aunt paid, and whatever insurance, if any, paid, against what Medicaid paid. If your aunt had an irrevocable trust to protect her assets from being reached by Medicaid, you will need an experienced elder law or estate planning...

Q: What are you recommendations for writing an Advanced Health Care Directive on my own?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Nov 3, 2018
Fred Bopp III's answer
You should really sit down with an attorney who practices in this area and discuss your objectives. My partner, Cecilia Guecia, has considerable experience in this area and I am sure she would be happy to talk with you. She can be reached at (207) 846-6111.

Q: Is there any way to protect a parents house from the "Five year rule" when they enter into a Mainecare program

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Nov 3, 2018
Fred Bopp III's answer
There are possible sophisticated strategies available, but timing is critical, and you would really want to consult with an attorney who specializes in this area.

Q: Is there ever a reason you'd go through probate if a will exists?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Daniel J. Eccher's answer
A: Yes; in fact, there may be a duty for a person who has control of a will of someone who has died to deliver it to either the Personal Representative named in the will or the Probate Court in the county in which the person died (18-A M.R.S.A. Sec. 2-902). A will simply lets people know how the testator wanted their probate property distributed after his or her death; it does not help the heirs avoid probate. Probate can be avoided in a few ways. You could change the title on all of your...

Q: My mother is alive and agrees to be appoint me her PR for when she passes. What probate form should I submit now?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maine on
Answered on Aug 15, 2018
Daniel J. Eccher's answer
Your mother should write a will in which she nominates you as the Personal Representative (PR) of her estate. I do not know of any form that should be filed with the Probate Court before she passes. After she passes, you would file the will and Petition to court for you to be appointed as PR.

Here is a link to the “Statutory Will” form: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/18-A/title18-Asec2-514.html

She could fill out this form and sign it in the presence of...

Q: Can my Dad's astranged wife kick me out? Or take control of my dads estate?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maine on
Answered on May 24, 2018
Robert Guillory Esq's answer
First you need to see if he left a will. if so did he name a personal representative, if he did it was probably his wife unless he changed his will after filing for divorce. Second you need to check how the real estate was held ie joint tenants or tenants in common. If joint tenants as most people do then she owns the entire amount of the real estate and can evict you thorugh the court. If it was not joint tenants then you may be part owner and she may not be able to use the eviction process....

Q: I have a squatter problem in my deceased mother's house.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maine on
Answered on May 15, 2018
Daniel J. Eccher's answer
You have raised a number of issues. It seems to me as if the most important point is that there is someone living in your deceased mother's house who doesn't have a right to live there. Even if someone has permission from someone else to live there, the person living there should be paying rent to your mother's estate. Has anyone petitioned in Probate Court to be appointed Personal Representative of the estate? If you are her son, you would be a perfect candidate for PR; your mother's husband...

Q: Grandfather died,left everything to my deceased father. My cousin wants me to sign a non-compete form. Why?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Jan 22, 2018
Joe Lewis' answer
You totally have something to do with it ... if you want to inherit the crappy home trailer and anything else that might be in your grandfather's estate. Based strictly on what you are sharing here for information, it seems like you (and any of your siblings) are in line to inherit your father's share of the estate.

There is no such thing as a non-compete form in Maine probate law, so I don't know what that's all about. I do believe, however, that your cousin and your grandfather's...

Q: If my sister is Durable Power of Attorney can she change my parents living will?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Nov 27, 2017
Daniel J. Eccher's answer
It sounds like you may be concerned that your sister may be taking advantage of your father’s assets. Your first concern should be about your father’s well-being. You could make a report to Adult Protective Services at 1-800-624-8404, but they only get involved in the most serious cases. You could also call Legal Services for the Elderly at 1-800-750-5353.

You may also want to contact a private attorney with experience in elder law and probate court practice. A private attorney...

Q: Is it better to will my assets to my children or set them up as beneficiaries to a trust?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Oct 5, 2017
Parke A Burmeister's answer
This is a very good question, and the answer depends very much on the specifics of your particular situation. Some of the factors to consider include: the age of your children; whether or not any of them have special needs, credit issues, or difficulty managing money; your long-term goals for your property; tax considerations; and whether some of the other benefits of having a trust could outweigh the simplicity of having just a will. There are other factors to consider as well. Generally...

Q: I probated my mom's will 5 months ago. My sister's lawyer asked for a detailed list of my mom's Estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Maine on
Answered on May 10, 2017
Daniel J. Eccher's answer
This question appears to be incomplete, because it lacks a final punctuation mark, but I will answer that generally, the personal representative of an estate is required by statute to "... file or furnish an inventory of property owned by the decedent at the time of his death ...." (This statutory section can be found in its entirety at http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/18-A/title18-Asec3-706.html.) If you have not already done so, you probably need to do so soon. You may want to hire...

Q: Does he have any rights to the house he lives in--doesn't own, but pays for?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Maine on
Answered on Mar 25, 2017
Jonathan R. Roth's answer
No, unless he is going to claim that he was a tenant or he loaned her funds. As a Tenant he is entitled to some notice for termination. The only question is did he loan her any money or did she promise him something and can it be proved.

Q: Am I entitled to more as personal representative in Dad's estate settlement?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Feb 16, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
As PR you CAN claim reimbursement from any 'out of pocket' expenses. Be sure to document the payment and amount. This 'reimbursement' is usually not an issue, and you probably SHOULD reimburse yourself.

You can also claim 'wages' for the time and effort put into the settlement. This would be taxable income, so be careful. You'll have to pay quarterly estimated taxes when you receive the money and issue yourself a 1099 (if it is more than $600 per year).

In GENERAL I advise...

Q: If I am listed as a devise in a will, will I I receive all the money even if the estate does not have money an account

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Feb 15, 2017
Ben F Meek III's answer
It depends on the terms of the will. You may be a devisee but the devise to you might be only a few dollars. If you are the only devisee and only beneficiary, you might be entitled to a greater portion of the estate. It just depends. If you think the assets of the probate estate have not been correctly reported, you need to bring that to the court's attention.

Q: Estate issue with two parents (Dad/Stepmom) who died without wills.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Maine on
Answered on Jan 31, 2017
Daniel J. Eccher's answer
Assuming everything you have written above is correct, then I do not see any conflict. You all seem to be in agreement that the property should go to your step-mother's children. The only concern I would have is if you or your siblings do not understand whatever document you are asked to sign. If so, you should have a Maine-licensed attorney review it with you. If it is legitimate and effective, then once you have signed it, you should not have any further "legal or financial responsibilities...

Q: How can I structure if so my girlfriend can continue living in my house when I die, but my kids get the house as a part

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Maine on
Answered on Oct 26, 2016
Daniel J. Eccher's answer
It would be best to talk to an estate planning lawyer about your specific situation, but the short answer is that you could leave your girlfriend a "life estate" in the house in a will (or codicil to an existing will), with the remainder going to your children. The life estate would mean she would have use of the house for the rest of her life, but your children would have a "future interest." Another option would be to set up a trust, where the house could be held in trust for your...

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