Probate is the judicial process by which wills (or the estates of individuals without wills) are processed and creditors are given notice of someone's passing.
Probate is only applicable to assets passing by Will. If a person does not die with a valid Will, then the law of intestacy may take over unless all of the deceased person's assets pass by some other legal means.
Despite the existence of a Model Uniform Probate Code (UPC), probate laws are state dependent and vary from state to state even when states have adopted the UPC or portions of it. Maine's probate process is different from that in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to some degree. These differences can impact the type of plan that best fits a particular client's needs.
The answer will likely depend on your goals and facts. Probate is not something you always want to avoid, in whole or in part.
Make informed decisions and be proactive about your estate planning. Call to speak to one of our probate attorneys today.