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McCandless & Coburn LLC, a Trust and Estate Law Firm
image of Portland, Maine

Estate Administration

Settlement of an estate is a complicated and sensitive endeavor. Our knowledge of the processes and requirements lets us help people who are often feeling overwhelmed by their recent loss. We are paper experts and know how to get things done quickly and simply. Managing the financial affairs of the decedent requires attention to detail and a thorough understanding of state and federal tax laws and the Maine Probate Code. The work is enhanced by our sensitivity towards the individuals involved. We bring knowledge and organization to the situation, allowing our clients to have peace of mind.

Approach

Through years of work with hundreds of clients, we have developed and refined efficient methods for dealing with all parties commonly involved in estate settlement: governmental taxing authorities, accountants, brokers, bankers, investment advisers, insurance agents and financial professionals. Our experience allows us to pass along efficiencies and savings to our clients, while fostering creative solutions.

Services

We commonly perform the following services for estate settlement:
  • Identify, collect and value the assets and prepare Accounts
  • Gather and organize the information necessary for Probate Court filings
  • Prepare and file federal and state estate tax forms
  • Prepare and file the Estate's income tax returns
  • Distribute the decedent's assets according to the decedent's will or revocable trust, or if there is no will for probate assets, in compliance with the intestacy laws
  • Accurately document the process for the estate's beneficiaries
  • Advise beneficiaries of the option to disclaim assets either in whole or in part and provide analysis of the tax benefits of any disclaimer

Process

At McCandless & Coburn LLC, we follow a well-defined process for orderly and accurate administration of an estate:
  1. Obtain the appointment of the personal representative of the estate and probate of the will
  2. Identify and preserve the estate's assets. The complexity or simplicity of this step depends largely on the records left by the decedent, the extent of the decedent's finances and the personal representative's familiarity with them. We will assist in preparing the Account of all assets, sales, income earned during estate administration, expenses and distributions
  3. Calculate and report the federal and state estate taxes due on the gross estate
  4. Review and monitor the payment of outstanding debts or expenses
  5. Ensure the collection of non-probate assets, such as life insurance, retirement accounts and jointly held assets, and weigh their tax implications
  6. Document and assist with the efficient and prompt distribution of all assets to the beneficiaries