Estate Planning

Estate planning is an important strategy to protect your assets now and in the future. We assist with drafting wills, naming powers of attorney, establishing advance health care directives, and creating trusts to protect and preserve you or your loved one’s assets.

Estate Planning Attorney in the York, ME Area

Estate planning is an important strategy to protect your assets now and in the future. It can include drafting a will, naming power of attorney, establishing your advance health care directive, and possibly creating a trust to protect and preserve you or your loved one’s assets. Guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney can ensure that your end-of-life wishes are documented and carried out.

The Will

Writing a will allows you to select the beneficiaries of your assets. Without this document, any property you own at the time of your death will be distributed in accordance with Maine state laws, which may not reflect your desires.

For example, if a person dies without a will, leaving a spouse and several children, the Maine Probate Code would potentially distribute the first $100,000.00 of the estate. Half of the balance would go to the spouse. The remaining half would be distributed equally among the deceased’s children. In certain situations, the deceased may prefer to leave their entire estate to their spouse. The assets remaining after the spouse’s death, if any, could then pass to their children.

Preparing a Will

Our helpful, complimentary guide explores the common questions to consider when you begin the estate planning process.

Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a document in which you, the principal, give an agent authority to act in your stead. With a durable power of attorney, the appointed person has the power to do everything that you can do personally, such as paying your bills, selling your assets, and filing your tax returns.

Statistically, you’re more likely to become disabled than you are to die unexpectedly. Many people incorrectly assume that if they become disabled their spouse or children will be able to act in their stead. This is not the case. For example, your spouse has no ability to sell or mortgage your jointly held real estate or even take out a home equity loan. If you were ever to become unable to function on your own, whether through an accident or illness, the Probate Court would appoint a guardian/conservator (no linking) if you’ve not already appointed an individual with a power of attorney.

Durable Power of Attorney

Have you appointed someone to act in your stead if you become incapacitated?

Advanced Health Care Directive/Living Will

A health care power of attorney (often referred to as an advance health care directive or living will) gives your agent the power to make medical decisions, should you become incapable of doing so yourself. These decisions include consenting to surgery and deciding which treatments will be used. As with the durable power of attorney, you should choose an agent that you trust implicitly to carry out your exact wishes.

An advance health care directive also contains a living will. This provision documents the wishes your agent should adhere to if you are in a terminal condition or persistent vegetative state. It also serves as an open dictate to an attending physician should your agent be unavailable to make decisions for you.

Advanced Health Care Directive/Living Will

An advance directive allows you to plan in advance for the time when you may not be able to communicate your health care choices.

Protecting and Preserving Assets/Medicaid Issues

Some individuals need long-term or nursing home care and are concerned that this will drain their assets, especially if they’re of moderate means. 

For some, the answer is long-term care insurance, but others may plan for a nursing home stay through asset protection. Medicaid planning is a difficult area of the law fraught with traps for the unwary. At Kathryn Bedell, Attorney at Law, we can help guide families through these difficult decisions.

Protect and Preserve Your Assets

There are many ways to give your house to your children, if that's your goal. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of available options in Maine.

Preparing for Your Meeting with Attorney Bedell

Estate Planning Questionnaire

Reading to begin thinking about your estate plan? Download our estate planning questionnaire and start providing the details.

Determining Your Net Worth Questionnaire

Calculate your net worth by documenting all your assets, including insurance, retirement plans, personal property, and more.

Preparing a Will & Probate Issues

Our helpful, complimentary guide explores the common questions to consider when you begin the estate planning process.

Advanced Health Care Directive/Living Will

An advance directive allows you to plan in advance for the time when you may not be able to communicate your health care choices. Learn about what you should include.

Trusts: Are they Right for Me?

What happens to your assets when you die depends upon how those assets are titled while you are alive. Read more about revocable and irrevocable trusts.

Have Questions About Your Estate Plan?

Looking for help with planning your estate? Need advice about trusts? Have questions about Maine’s real estate transfer laws? We're here to help!

Let's talk about your estate planning questions.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Attorney Kathryn Bedell.