Frequently Asked Questions

How old does someone have to be to execute a Will?

An individual must have attained the age of majority. Under Maine law, the age of majority is 18 years of age.

Should I open a corporation or a limited liability company to operate my business?

Circumstances vary and are mostly driven by an income tax analysis and control factors. However, generally speaking, limited liability companies are better for owning real estate, and corporations are better for operating companies.

Once I have a Will, can I make changes?

A Will, once executed, can be amended at any time as long as the person signing the Will and making the change is legally competent to execute documents.

What is the difference between owning property as joint tenants or tenants in common?

A joint tenancy typically means that ownership of the real estate automatically transfers to the surviving joint tenant(s) upon the death of another tenant. A tenancy in common means that the individual's interest must pass through his or her estate and be disposed of as part of the probate process.

Can I choose more than one personal as a Personal Representative of my estate?

Yes, any number of individuals or entities may be chosen, but naming more than 3 may result in delays and complications.

Can I transfer real estate even if I still want to continue living at that real estate?

Yes, many parties elect to transfer real estate and continue to enjoy a life estate or a right to use and occupy.

How often should I update my estate planning documents?

We recommend that you review your estate planning documents every 3 to 5 years or after any major life change (i.e. divorce, marriage, birth of child, etc.)

What is the difference between a financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney?

A financial power of attorney is designed to deal with financial affairs (i.e. bank accounts, real estate transactions, etc.). A healthcare power of attorney is limited to medical and end of life decisions. In both cases, a party nominates another party to act as his or her agent to carry out his or her intentions.

If I do not sign a Will, does the State get my assets?

The State is the last in line to receive your assets. If you fail to execute a Will, you will be "intestate." In the case of an intestacy, your assets are disposed of by statute. This generally means that your spouse and children succeed to your assets. If you have no spouse or children, other relatives would take before the assets escheat to the State.

Can I make a gift of over $14,000.00 per person per year?

Yes, the current gift limit is $5,490,000.00 (2017). The $14,000.00 per person per year limit is the amount you can give away without filing a gift tax return. Any gifts over this amount are still not subject to gift tax if you make a gift of a present interest and the amount is less than $5,490,000.00 in the aggregate. 

Once I have a Will, can I make changes?

A Will, once executed, can be amended at any time as long as the person signing the Will and making the change is legally competent to execute documents.

What is the difference between owning property as joint tenants or tenants in common?

A joint tenancy typically means that ownership of the real estate automatically transfers to the surviving joint tenant(s) upon the death of another tenant. A tenancy in common means that the individual's interest must pass through his or her estate and be disposed of as part of the probate process.

(207)376-3330

(207)376-3326

810 Lisbon St
Lewiston, Androscoggin County 04240
USA

©2017 BY THE BELL FIRM, P.A.. PROUDLY CREATED WITH WIX.COM