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Maine Estate Planning Attorney 

Maine Estate Planning Attorney 

If you have loved ones that you want to make sure are taken care of no matter what, then you need an estate plan. If you live in Maine, it is important to find an estate planning attorney who is licensed to practice in Maine, to ensure that they are familiar with the relevant state and local laws and regulations related to estates and taxes. The experienced wills and estate planning attorneys at STEVE SMITH Trial Lawyers are ready to make sure that your rights are protected and that all of your goals are met with regard to caring for your loved ones and protecting your own personal and financial interests. 

What Happens if I Do Not Have a Will?

It should be noted that not having a valid or locatable will is effectively the same as not having a will at all. There are a number of criteria and requirements that must be met in order for your will to be considered valid. For instance, you must have a certain number of witnesses present to watch you sign your will and they must be of appropriate age and mental fitness to serve as a witness. 

Your will must also be able to be located. If no one can find your will after a reasonable search, the probate process will move forward as though you did not have one at all. For this reason, it is important to take precautions to ensure that your will is properly executed and in a place where people might reasonably expect to find it, such as in a safe or with your passport and other important documents. 

If you do not have a will, your estate will proceed to probate court the same way it would have if you had a will. However, instead of trying to determine and honor your wishes, the court will instead default to applying Maine’s intestate succession statutes in distributing your estate. If you do not agree with the government with regard to how your assets would be under the intestate succession statutes, it’s important to make sure that you have your own valid will in place. 

Benefits of Estate Planning

Many people think that all they have to do to plan for the future is make a will, but in reality, a will is only one aspect of a comprehensive estate plan. With a will, regardless of whether it is valid, your estate will proceed to probate court. This can cut off access to vital assets for your loved ones for months or even years. In order to make sure that your dependents and loved ones have access to assets that they rely on, such as bank account access or possession of your shared home, other estate planning mechanisms must be utilized in addition to making a will. 

Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at STEVE SMITH Trial Lawyers

If you are ready to develop an estate plan and make sure that your loved ones are taken care of and that your wishes are honored and protected, it is time to talk to an experienced estate planning attorney, and our attorneys are waiting to hear from you. Contact the Maine estate planning attorneys at STEVE SMITH Trial Lawyers today to schedule a consultation.

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