Trusts, Estates & Elder Law

Estate Planning

Estate planning is not limited to the very elderly or the very wealthy and includes far more than just the handling of property after death. Estate planning is about taking care of children and other dependent family members, planning out personal and financial affairs in case of incapacity, minimizing the potential for legal action, expenses, taxes, invasions of privacy and family discord, and maximizing what is left behind for loved ones. We provide comprehensive estate planning that is grounded in a thorough understanding of each client's unique familial and financial situations. Each plan is personalized and focuses on giving the client peace of mind of knowing that his or her wishes will be carried out, financial and business matters will be handled, and family provided for in the event of death or disability. If circumstances change later in life, estate plans can be changed or adjusted accordingly.

Our services in this area include:

  • Prepare Last Will & Testaments, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills/Advance Health-Care Directives;
  • Prepare trusts, including but not limited to, revocable living trusts, testamentary trusts, special needs trust, supplemental needs trusts and pet trusts;
  • Asset preservation plans;
  • Property transfers;
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements;
  • Succession and continuation planning for business owners;
  • Charitable bequests and planned giving; and
  • Preparation of other advanced planning documents.

Long Term Care & MaineCare Planning

As the costs of high quality long term care keep going up, it is critically important for both individuals and families to have a strategy in planning on how to pay for them. Whether you are planning ahead or if you need these services right now, we assist our clients with developing a comprehensive strategy, with a focus on client independence, providing for spouses, and preservation of assets.

Our services in this area include:

  • Counsel clients and preparing individualized long-term care plans;
  • Assist with MaineCare planning;
  • Prepare and file client MaineCare applications for nursing home, residential care or community benefits;
  • Prepare comprehensive caregiver agreements and stay at home care plans;
  • Advocate for MaineCare coverage of home, nursing home and assisted living care;
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements;
  • Represent clients in MaineCare appeals, including denials and penalties; and
  • Represent clients before Department of Health and Human Services in MaineCare Estate Recovery matters.

Trust & Estate Administration

Probate is a court-supervised legal process which administers a deceased person's estate. We are experienced in and familiar with the policies, procedures and requirements of probate in Maine and guide families and spouses through the process with compassion and efficiency. We also work with fiduciaries and successor trustees to make trust administration a straightforward process that carries out each grantor's wishes and intentions while giving beneficiaries peace of mind through administration.

Our services in this area include:

  • Handle the probate and administration of estates of all sizes;
  • Assist with the administration of trusts;
  • Handle non-probate assets and benefits;
  • Represent beneficiaries before the Department of Health and Human Services in MaineCare Estate Recovery matters;
  • Represent clients in will contests;
  • Represent clients in non-probate litigation, such as beneficiary designation disputes; and
  • Represent beneficiaries in non-probate matters, such as insurance claims and disputes.

Guardianship & Conservatorship

Guardianships and conservatorships allow a person to legally assist a loved one who is not able or is no longer able to manage his or her own affairs. Guardians are appointed to make decisions on behalf of a person, while conservators are appointed to protect and manage the person's finances. Maine also allows for joint appointments, which allows one person to perform both roles.

Our services in this area include:

  • Establish and assist with guardianship and conservatorships, starting with the initial petition and continuing through post-appointment reporting to the Probate Court;
  • Represent family members and interested parties contesting proceedings; and
  • Representation of an individual for whom the guardianship or conservatorship is being sought, whether in opposition or support of same.