Have you ever wondered what happens after you pass away? If you have signed a will, the person you chose at that time to be your Representative will pay your final bills and gather any assets you may have in your name only at the time of your death, like bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and other personal property. Like financial accounts, life insurance, annuities, and retirement accounts, some assets often have a named beneficiary or a POD designation (Payable On Death). If so, those assets pass directly to the designated person and do not come into your estate.
Your Personal Representative takes care of many details, such as making sure any personal property items (i.e., jewelry, furniture, guns, stamp collections, and everything in between) are delivered to the person you name in a “Memorandum to Personal Representative.” If you have made no other arrangements, they may need to deal with the funeral home and disposition of your body. If enough assets are in your name only at the time of death (anything more than $20,000 value), your Personal Representative will need to be appointed by Probate Court.
This is accomplished by filing a Petition for Informal Probate. Once the Personal Representative is appointed, we can continue to assist them in making sure required notices are given, and deadlines are met, as required by the Maine Probate Code. Once the assets are all gathered, and all the bills are paid, your Personal Representative is responsible for distributing your assets according to the terms of your will.
Sometimes this process is straightforward. Sometimes it is more complicated, depending on the type of assets you have, the number of creditors who file claims, and the distribution method you have requested in your will. The attorneys at Griffin & Jordan are true experts in this field, with over 40 years of experience.
We are ready to assist your Representative in obtaining the “Letters of Authority” necessary to do their work for you and guide them through the Probate process. We know all of the pitfalls inherent in the probate of wills. We can navigate the Probate Court waters with your Representative until everything is taken care of and the final form is filed.