Usually individuals thinking about estate planning in Maine already have a good idea of what they own. They also have a good idea of who they want to inherit their property. Starting the process of estate planning is nothing more than placing your wishes in writing while helping ensure that your family has few lose ends to worry about during their time of mourning. Estate planning done right should help make things for both you and your family easier.
Since most people are familiar with the concept of wills creating a will is a safe place to start when estate planning. Anyone who is 18 in the state of Maine and in good health can legally create their own will so there is no reason to delay. Start your draft by writing down a list of all assets and who you wish to inherit various assets. Always remember, a will in Maine is not valid until it has been signed by to witnesses.
The next thing that someone starting the estate planning process should do is visit an experienced estate planning attorney. If possible find an attorney that specializes in estates rather than someone that does a little of everything. An experienced estate attorney will verify that you have not omitted anything that is required by law and will help you create your final will for a flat or hourly fee.
If there are deeds to be transferred or titles that will be involved an attorney will also be able to help make sure you go through the proper channels. In Maine this involves filing the will with the court in order to have it considered valid. If trust accounts are going to be necessary or the estate is large an attorney can also help individuals find neutral trustees and executers who work for a fee.
Some people are caught off guard by the fees that are associated with an estate. It is hard to imagine that the government would charge heirs in order to allow them to inherit but it does happen. Estates are taxed by the local and federal government plus there funeral expenses to worry about.
In order to avoid these fees or to at least make them more manageable try to make allowances for these fees in bequests and prepay all funeral expenses. Not only will this help your heirs keep most of their inheritance, it will also make your passing a little bit easier for them to manage and you will be sure that you final wishes are carried out.