What is Probate?
What can a Maine Probate Attorney do for you?
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims, and distributing the deceased person’s property under a will. A probate court (surrogate court) decides the legal validity of a testator’s will and grants its approval by granting probate to the executor. An executor in the law courts may enforce a Probated Will if necessary. Probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator’s assets in the manner specified in the will.
The probate process:
You must notify Creditors, and legal notices published.
Executors/Personal Representatives of the will must be guided in how and when to distribute assets and how to take creditors’ rights into account.
You may need to file a Petition to appoint a personal representative and letters of administration obtained.
Due to its own set of unique rules in states like Florida, you must deal with a Homestead property separate from your other assets. In many common law jurisdictions such as Canada, parts of the US, the UK, Australia, and India, the jointly owned property passes automatically to the surviving joint owner separately from any will, unless the equitable title is held as tenants in common.
When you file and object claims against an estate there are time factors involved.
A lawsuit may be pending over the decedent’s death or there may have been pending suits that are now continuing. Continuous probate cases may require separate procedures.
It may be necessary to sell real estate or other property to distribute assets accordingly to the will or simply to pay debts.
A person’s estate must be reviewed for gift taxes, inheritance taxes, and estate taxes if it exceeds certain thresholds.
Costs of the administration include ordinary taxation such as income tax on interest and the deduction of property taxation from assets in the estate before distribution by the executors of the will.
The transfer of the deceased’s other assets may simply go to his or her beneficiaries.
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