Probate Attorney in South Portland, ME
Probate is a process that many wish to avoid due to the high costs brought by additional expenses like estate taxes, hassles, and complications. The processes typically involve lawyers and court appearances which is why avoiding probate has become the goal of many.
Avoiding probate should be planned out since it rarely benefits beneficiaries and the costs and time frames only stress them out, piling on top of their already existing grief. Many factors come into play regarding avoiding probate such as age, health, and wealth.
If you wish to avoid probate, know that there are certain steps you can take in order for your estate to not undergo it. Having a living trust is the best example of steering your family clear of the troubles probate can bring. Other options to be explored include joint and transfer on death accounts.
Consult with a South Portland, ME estate planning attorney who can help you understand probate law, help you make the best move to avoid probate, and enable you to eliminate the hassle of probate for your loved ones in the future.
How to Avoid Probate?
The thought of probate alone sounds pretty complicated and avoiding probate sounds even more difficult. However, avoiding probate doesn’t have to be a huge headache. There are simple and effective ways on steering clear of the probate court including:
Revocable Living Trust
Having a trust ensures that after death, your property will not be part of the probate estate. Revocable living trusts employ the assignment of a trustee who owns and oversees the property, quickly transferring it to loved ones without the need to undergo probate.
Joint Ownership of Property
Joint ownership of property is an easy way to avoid probate since the property goes to the other owner when one of them dies. Examples of joint ownership include joint tenancy with right of survivorship, tenancy by entirety, and community property with right of survivorship. All these kinds of joint ownerships require no additional documents to avoid probate.
One can give their property away while they are alive in order to avoid probate simply because not owning it anymore when you die means it won’t be subject to probate. Giving things away lowers the probate costs since the higher the monetary value, the likelier it is to be subject to probate.
Pay on Death Accounts and Registrations
Certain accounts can be converted into payable on death accounts by filling in a beneficiary who will receive the money directly when you die and in the process avoiding probate.
Avoiding probate can be quite simple, but nothing beats having legal assistance from an estate planning attorney. Get in touch with a South Portland, ME estate planning attorney to help you navigate these steps to avoid probate.
Why Should I Avoid Probate?
Avoiding probate has often been presented to us as a smart idea. It’ll save you more time, money, and effort and enable your family members to process grief at their own pace without any additional worries. To shed some light on why avoiding probate is a good idea, it is said that probate ties up properties for months and even years. Probate costs can take up 5% of estate value, inclusive of attorney fees and court payments.
How Do I Reduce Probate Fees?
If the estate is subject to probate, one way to reduce the hassles is to reduce probate fees. Although some may advise going through probate without an attorney, that is a complicated task and a huge risk. If you do not fully understand estate planning terms, get legal advice from an estate planning attorney.
That said, here are some ways on how to reduce probate fees:
- Go DIY-Some states enable individuals to go without an attorney by offering probate DIY books. While this is an option, some terms might still be too vague and hence the importance of seeking legal advice.
- Understand the probate process on your own as well apart from having an attorney so you are aware of certain responsibilities that may or may not cost you, thus saving you time, money, and effort.
- Affordable Attorney Rates- There is always the option to talk to an attorney and negotiate for lower fees. However, be mindful that you cannot legally bind an attorney to
How Do I Avoid Probate in South Portland, ME?
In Maine, avoiding probate requires you to also make a living trust. Maine estate planning law also allows individuals to add a payable on death designation to bank accounts or certificates of deposit. Maine estate planning laws also allow you to register stocks and bonds in transfer on death forms. Registered TOD accounts ensure that beneficiaries will inherit these. In recent times, Maine laws allow individuals to leave real estate with transfer on death deeds but it doesn’t, however, allow transfer on death registration of vehicles.
Each state comes with its unique set of laws regarding avoiding probate. If you are from Maine and are planning to avoid probate, seek legal advice from a South Portland, ME estate planning attorney to help guide you through the process of avoiding probate.
Seek Legal Advice From a South Portland, ME Estate Planning Attorney
Avoiding probate is one of the wisest things you can do for yourself and your loved ones. Probate costs a hefty sum and can eat up your time, money, and energy leaving you all drained on top of your grief. As easy as it sounds, avoiding probate has certain procedures that may be quite unclear to you. If this is the case, contact Jackson Estate Planning to schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney who can help you manage the estate and preserve a loved one’s legacy.