What Is Probate, Really?

If you asked a person 5 things that a lawyer does, I bet on that list would be the word “Probate.” But what does that word really mean? If you listen to the TV ads and surf the web, you probably think that probate costs too much in money and time, and therefore it is something to avoid. In many states that may be true. But I think that here in Maine the situation is different. A simple definition of probate is “the process of winding up a deceased person’s affairs and properly distributing his or her assets.” The process in Maine is done under a version of the “Uniform Probate Code.” This code makes it relatively simple to conduct the probate of a person’s estate. A number of years ago, I was “executor” of my aunt’s estate in Massachusetts, … Continue reading