Probate is common after the death of an estate owner in the state of Maine. It can be necessary to settle an estate, yet despite how common it is, there are often questions about the average cost of probate in Maine. Cost will vary there, and largely depends on a number of things such as:
How big and complex an estate is
If anyone contests the Will
What Estate Plans are in place
Use of a probate attorney (or not)
Common Probate Fees in Maine
Even though there can be a wide range when it comes to how much probate will cost, some fees are common in almost all proceedings. When you go through probate, you may need to pay:
Miscellaneous court and filing fees
Personal Representative compensation - Maine is a reasonable compensation state
Various professional fees
Executor Bond (if required)
Common Questions About Probate in Maine
How Long Does Probate Take in Maine?
In Maine, probate can take about 9 - 18 months to complete. The larger and more complex an estate is, the longer it can take.
What is UPC in Maine?
Maine is one of several states that adopted the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). The UPC was developed to create a streamlined probate process that’s universal across the country. To date, just 18 states have adopted the code. The UPC says there are three types of probate proceedings:
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Maine?
Because probate attorney fees in Maine range, it’s hard to give an exact number in regards to cost. Probate lawyers can charge an hourly rate or a flat fee, and the cost can vary depending on how complex an estate is and how experienced the attorney is at probate law.
How to Avoid Probate in Maine
If you’re hoping to avoid probate, any of the following strategies might help:
Create a Revocable Living Trust
Title property in Joint Tenancy
Create assets that are titled TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
And remember that estates with a value that doesn’t meet or exceed the “small estate” threshold may also be able to avoid probate, too.
What is Considered a Small Estate in Maine?
Maine allows for a “small estate” summary probate if the value of the estate doesn’t exceed the homestead allowance. Additionally, estates that are worth less than $20,000 can use an Affidavit procedure after waiting 30 days.
Who Pays Probate Fees in Maine?
Fees related to most, if not all probate costs (even probate lawyer fees) in Maine can be handled out of the estate.