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Best Probate Lawyers in Portland

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Ballou & Bedell Attorneys At Law logo
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Ballou & Bedell Attorneys At Law

408 U.S. Route One Second Floor, York, ME 03909
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Business Description

Ballou & Bedell, Attorneys at Law, is a legal firm that serves the Portland area. Its team helps the personal representatives of decedents navigate the process of probate, which involves estate administration. The attorneys also go over revocable living trusts, which allow clients to avoid probate. In addition, they offer estate planning services, which may entail drafting wills and powers of attorney. Firm co-director Kathryn Bedell, who was admitted to the bar in 1991, is a member of the Maine Bar Association's Trusts and Estate Planning Section.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (70)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Bopp & Guecia Attorneys at Law logo
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Bopp & Guecia Attorneys at Law

121 Main Street, Yarmouth, ME 04096
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Bopp & Guecia Attorneys at Law is a legal practice serving clients in Portland. With over 40 years of combined experience, the firm's lawyers assist clients in a broad range of legal matters, including probate and estate-related concerns. They help prepare wills, trusts, or powers of attorneys to protect clients' wealth and guide asset transfers upon death. One of the founding attorneys, Fred W. Bopp III, is a civil litigator who has been practicing since 1989. He is also licensed in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Douglas McDaniel & Campo LLC, PA Attorneys and Counselors at Law logo
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Douglas McDaniel & Campo LLC, PA Attorneys and Counselors at Law

90 Bridge Street, Suite 100,, Westbrook, ME 04092
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  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Douglas McDaniel & Campo LLC, PA Attorneys and Counselors at Law, provides services to clients involved in legal proceedings in Portland. It represents clients in various civil cases, including probate litigation. It also takes on other practice areas, such as family law matters, personal injury and wrongful death claims, business conflicts, and landlord-tenant disputes. The law firm pursues alternative dispute resolutions through mediation, fostering an amicable environment between parties to obtain fair settlement and mutual agreement. The firm's attorneys bring over 50 years of combined legal experience. 

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Avvo
4.0 / 5 (58)
Google
4.3 / 5 (18)
Facebook
4.3 / 5 (9)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law logo
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Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law

84 Marginal Way, Suite 600, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law is a full-service law firm serving the Portland metro. The firm's probate lawyers and a veteran paralegal staff assist clients in the administration of estates and trusts, including conservatorships, guardianships, will and trust interpretation and administration, and adoptions. They represent all sorts of contested will, trust, and probate matters. The firm also practices banking and commercial finance, bankruptcy, employment and labor, health care, immigration, and litigation. Drummond Woodsum Attorneys at Law was ranked as Highly Recommended by the Benchmark Litigation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Google
4.1 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Eaton Peabody Portland logo
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Eaton Peabody Portland

100 Middle Street, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Taxes
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Eaton Peabody Portland offers the services of estate planning, estate administration, and probate lawyers in Portland. Founded in 1917, the firm is headquartered in Bangor and has 4 other offices across Maine. Eaton Peabody's attorneys serve families, individuals, closely-held businesses, nonprofits, and tax-exempt organizations in all matters related to estates and charitable giving. They help clients navigate the probate process, including asset inventory, fiduciary accountings, and preparation of income and estate tax returns. They also provide representation in probate litigation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Epstein & O'Donovan logo
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Epstein & O'Donovan

Two Monument Square, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Epstein & O'Donovan delivers probate law services to clients in Portland. The firm handles issues pertaining to the management and distribution of inheritable assets, the payment of transfer taxes, and the judicial distribution of estates. The office creates estate plans and tackles the establishment of trusts and the drafting of last wills and testaments. Counsel Dennis J. O'Donovan joined the practice in 1994 and has completed studies in finance. He was president of the Maine Estate Planning Council.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (19)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Fairfield & Associates logo
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Fairfield & Associates

75 Pearl Street Suite 470, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Fairfield & Associates is a law firm serving Portland and the surrounding areas. It assists in trust and estate matters, including drafting of wills and trusts, probate of wills, administration of intestate estates, and asset protection. Its team of lawyers also handles business succession and tax planning. Founder Amy L. Fairfield was given the President's Award in 2018 and the Unsung Hero Award in 2010, both by the MACDL. Her firm also practices family law, personal injury, and criminal defense.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Avvo
3.4 / 5 (10)
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Hopkinson & Abbondanza logo
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Hopkinson & Abbondanza

6 City Center, Suite 400, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Hopkinson & Abbondanza is a boutique law firm serving a wide range of clientele in Portland, from small estates to multi-generation family businesses. It aids clients in navigating the probate and estate administration process and creates custom strategies according to the complexity of estates. Its team assists in the inventory, appraisal, and distribution of estate assets. One of the attorneys, Jim Hopkinson, has been in practice since 1983 and is a member of the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association. He is admitted to the US Tax Court.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.9
Google
4.9 / 5 (10)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Detail
Injured Workers' Legal Center logo
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Injured Workers' Legal Center

14 Maine Street, Brunswick, ME 04011
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Injured Workers' Legal Center offers estate planning from probate attorneys in Portland. Attorneys in this firm assist families with issues in trust development and administration, conservatorship, and other probate and estate administration matters. Injured Workers' Legal Center also has a legal team that represents clients involved in work-related accidents. Their practice areas are focused on workplace injury and workers' compensation, longshore and harbor worker injuries, asbestos-related illness, and social security disability insurance.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Jackson & MacNichol Attorneys at Law logo
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Jackson & MacNichol Attorneys at Law

238 Western Ave, South Portland, ME 04106
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Jackson & MacNichol Attorneys at Law is an estate planning firm counseling Portland and the surrounding areas. Its probate lawyers educate clients about the laws governing trust, estate, and probate administration. They help people prepare for their families' future by analyzing their needs and discussing available options. They also assist individuals seeking social security and veterans benefits. One of the firm's lawyers, Alexandra Jackson, is an estate planning attorney with experience in business, elder, and tax law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.5 / 5 (70)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Detail
––
Jason Litalien Attorney at Law logo
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Jason Litalien Attorney at Law

5 Alfred St, Suite 102, Biddeford, ME 04005
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Jason Litalien, Attorney at Law, caters to Portland residents who have probate law needs. The office handles probate administration matters and represents parties in litigation arising from the interpretation of last wills and testaments. The firm creates estate plans and establishes revocable and irrevocable trusts to facilitate the preservation of a decedent's properties. Jason Litalien, an inheritance law practitioner, served in the US Air Force. He is a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (35)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Jensen Baird Attorneys at Law logo
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Jensen Baird Attorneys at Law

10 Free St, Portland, ME 04112
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Jensen Baird Attorneys at Law counsels Portland residents by offering a variety of probate law services. The team litigates matters related to last wills and testaments. It represents heirs, beneficiaries, and charitable institutions during the verification of wills and the interpretation of provisions. The office also makes estate plans to simplify the transfer of assets upon death. Counsel Tudor N. Goldsmith has been appointed to the Maine Advisory Committee on Probate Rules by the state's Supreme Court.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
3.7 / 5 (3)
Jewell & Bulger logo
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Jewell & Bulger

511 Congress Street Suite 502, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Jewell & Bulger offers legal solutions to clients in Portland. It handles probate matters and assists clients in navigating the process, such as identifying and notifying beneficiaries and creditors, appraising the property, paying taxes and creditors, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. The firm also protects the client's assets from future contests and conflicts by drafting various estate planning documents, including trusts for minors and supplemental needs trusts for the disabled. The firm has been serving communities since 2013, concentrating on commercial real estate matters.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Lanman Rayne Nelson Reade logo
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Lanman Rayne Nelson Reade

261 US Route 1, Suite 201, Falmouth, ME 04105
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

Lanman Rayne Nelson Reade handles legal transactions in Portland and the surrounding areas. For over 30 years, the firm has been assisting executors or administrators in the probate process. It also drafts estate planning documents, including wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, financial powers of attorney, and advanced healthcare directives. Additionally, it addresses elder law concerns like long-term care planning and Medicaid (MaineCare) applications. Two of its legal practitioners are certified elder law attorneys by the National Elder Law Foundation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Law Offices of Dylan Boyd logo
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Law Offices of Dylan Boyd

6 City Center, 3rd Floor, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Power of Attorneys

Business Description

The Law Offices of Dylan Boyd handles matters of probate law and litigation in Portland and neighboring areas. Its founder has been practicing for over a decade and, while studying, won the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award for Business and Commercial Law. He and his staff guide trustees and executors in enacting all tasks of the will, from compiling assets to notifying beneficiaries. They also educate them on the probate process for those without wills. The office's other areas of practice include family law and criminal defense.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
5.0 / 5 (7)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (2)
FindLaw
5.0 / 5 (2)

(+1 additional source)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
LeBlanc & Young logo
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LeBlanc & Young

Four Canal Plaza, Portland, ME 04112
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  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

LeBlanc & Young, is a Portland-based law firm that represents individuals who seek assistance in probate proceedings. Its team of lawyers helps them with asset and debt identification, tax returns, asset liquidation, and estate distribution. Additionally, to prevent probate court proceedings, the firm offers a family-driven approach to mediation by organizing an open dialog. It also handles matters involving estate planning, premarital and postnuptial agreements, family holding entities, and adoption. One of the office's partners, Elizabeth High, has been practicing trust and estate law since 1984.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion, LLC logo
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Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion, LLC

62 Portland Road, Kennebunk, ME 04043
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Based in Portland, Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion, LLC is a law firm founded in 2007 by Gene Libby, Timothy O’Brien, and Gail Kingsley Wolfahrt. The firm has represented individuals, corporations, businesses, and other entities. Comprised of a team of experienced probate attorneys and criminal attorneys, the firm has experience in probate, estate planning, wills and trusts, as well as civil litigation. The team is also passionate about assisting clients with personal injury services and family law.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.5 / 5 (8)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Maine Center for Elder Law logo
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Maine Center for Elder Law

3 Webhannet Place, Suite 1, Kennebunk, ME 04043
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Maine Center for Elder Law is a legal practice that serves clients in Portland. Its services focus on helping senior citizens and their families prepare plans for their estate and possible long-term care. Its scope of work ranges from drafting wills to reviewing documents for plausible avenues of estate tax reduction. Its attorneys also guide clients through probate. Attorney at law Barbara Schlichtman serves on the executive committee for Legal Services for the Elderly in Maine.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (8)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Moncure & Barnicle Attorneys at Law logo
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Moncure & Barnicle Attorneys at Law

1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 206, Topsham, ME 04086
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Moncure & Barnicle Attorneys at Law helps Portland families, businesses, and individuals solve complex problems. It counsels personal representatives dealing with probate for the first time. The law firm assists beneficiaries with reasons to believe their inheritance has been jeopardized. Its lawyers design plans to protect the rights of clients during the probate process. Prior to joining the firm in 2012, Paul Brunetti had served as special assistant to the commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Google
4.6 / 5 (39)
Yelp
3.5 / 5 (3)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Detail
Norman Hanson DeTroy, LLC logo
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Norman Hanson DeTroy, LLC

Two Canal Plaza, Portland, ME 04112
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Norman Hanson DeTroy, LLC provides the services of probate attorneys in Portland and Lewiston. Established in 1975, it is one of the largest law firms in northern New England. Norman Hanson DeTroy offers guidance throughout the process of probate and estate administration and represents personal representatives, family members, beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors in estate-related matters. Its lawyers assist in opening a case in probate court, preparing estate tax returns, and resolving disputes such as will contests.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)
Avvo
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Opticliff Law logo
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Opticliff Law

75 York Street, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Opticliff Law offers legal services to clients in Portland who are in need of probate assistance. It aims to alleviate the stress of losing a loved one by assessing estates to determine their eligibility to undergo the long process of probate. Handling of will and testament, will amendments, healthcare directives, trusts, and premarital agreements are also provided by the firm. Outside probate, the firm practices business law, including trademark and startup, helping small businesses thrive in the market.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (34)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Port City Legal logo
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Port City Legal

10 Moulton Street 4th Floor, Portland, ME 04101
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Business Description

Based in Portland, Port City Legal is a general practice law firm that assists clients who want to file a probate case in the local metro. Its team of attorneys provides personalized attention throughout the probate litigation process and keeps its clients informed about the different aspects of their cases. The legal professionals also handle various probate matters, such as estate administration, guardianship of minors, and conservatorship. One of the firm's principal attorneys, Joe Lewis, is a volunteer lawyer for the Courthouse Assistance Project.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
4.8 / 5 (55)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Verrill logo
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Verrill

One Portland Square, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Wills

Business Description

Established in 1862, Verrill offers legal assistance to residents in Portland and more than 90 percent of the United States. Its probate attorneys assist individuals, fiduciaries, and institutions in cases including trusts and estates in the probate courts and superior courts in Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The practice also handles matters involving will contests, fiduciary accounts, and trust reformations. Verrill, a member of the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, also founded the Racial Justice Fund. More than 40 percent of Verrill partners are women.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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––
Vogel & Dubois logo
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Vogel & Dubois

550 Forest Ave, Suite 206, Portland, ME 04101
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  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate Litigation

Business Description

The law firm of Vogel & Dubois has been focusing on probate and elder law matters in Portland and the surrounding areas since 1994. Its attorneys assist with the probate process of decedent’s estates and develop and implement long-term care plans for Medicaid (MaineCare) eligibility. They advise on legal issues concerning long-term care funding and insurance, help with adult guardianship, and draft estate planning documents. Its managing attorney, Matthew R. Dubois, handles LGBTQ-specific planning and civil matters.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Facebook
4.2 / 5 (56)
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)
Weinstein Lovell & Ordway, P.A. logo
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Weinstein Lovell & Ordway, P.A.

431 Main St, Saco, ME 04072
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Weinstein Lovell & Ordway P.A. is a law firm that serves businesses, entrepreneurs, families, and individuals from all over Portland. With over 80 years of combined experience, its team helps clients resolve legal issues in probate courts and guides them through estate administration. It also drafts documents that make up a person's estate plan, including trusts, wills, advanced healthcare directives, and business succession policies. One of its partners, Karen B. Lovell, was named a Fellow of the ACTEC.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a probate attorney do?

Probate attorneys are licensed professionals who represent executors and heirs after someone has died. They provide personalized legal advice, assist with tax planning, settle debts, and facilitate the distribution of assets. Probate attorneys typically represent clients during administrative proceedings overseen by probate courts, although some litigators focus on handling disputes and lawsuits related to contested estates.

What is probate court?

Probate court works with the family or beneficiaries of a deceased person to validate their last will and testament. The courts review the individual's will to identify and calculate assets, pay off remaining debts, and distribute the remaining property to beneficiaries per the deceased person's requests. Depending on state laws, property valued under a certain amount may not require probate.

How long do you have to file probate after death?

The amount of time loved ones have to file a will after a person dies varies from state to state. While California courts require probate to be filed within one year, New York has no deadline. That being said, it's advisable to file probate as quickly as possible once a person has died, as the process itself can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year.

Does life insurance go through probate?

Life insurance doesn't need to go through the probate courts if the deceased individual has named a beneficiary on their policy. However, life insurance policies without beneficiaries, or with beneficiaries who are either deceased themselves or cannot be contacted, go directly to the deceased individual's estate. When this happens, life insurance proceeds must go through probate court to determine how funds should be allocated.

Do household items go through probate?

While the exact rules do vary from state to state, most household items don't require probate and are automatically left to immediate families unless otherwise stated in the deceased person's will. When it comes to property, only items above a certain value or held in title are required to go through probate in most states.

Do bank accounts with beneficiaries have to go through probate?

In the event a beneficiary has been named, bank accounts are not required to go through probate and will be paid directly to the person designated by the deceased individual. However, should that individual be deceased themselves or if contact cannot be made after a certain period of time, funds will be allocated to the estate and put through the probate process.

What happens if no probate is filed?

Depending on the circumstances, probate may not be required in all cases. If a person passes on and their remaining property is jointly owned, it automatically transfers to the other owner. However, if a property is not jointly owned and no probate has been filed, the executor of the will won't be able to transfer titles or cash assets to beneficiaries. Be aware that the specific laws surrounding probate requirements vary from state to state.

What is probate real estate?

Probate real estate is the process that happens when a realtor steps in to handle the sale or transfer of a deceased person's owned home to another individual. In some cases, the house is sold as a means of liquidating assets, and proceeds from the sale are used to pay debts or are distributed to beneficiaries.

Can I probate a will or estate without an attorney?

It is possible to probate a will and close an estate without hiring an attorney. However, it requires multiple steps and an understanding of the law. The first step is to petition the court to appoint a representative for the estate. Next, the executor must notify all heirs and creditors before switching ownership from the decedent to the estate. Once all debts, taxes, and final expenses have been paid, funds can be transferred to heirs. To close an estate, the executor must submit a report showing the court that all obligations and final wishes have been satisfied. While a will and estate may seem straightforward, things can get complicated quickly if multiple heirs are involved, or if disputes or disagreements arise over distribution. A probate lawyer can help navigate these disputes effectively, and take pressure off the executor when beneficiaries aren’t getting along.

How many years can an estate remain in probate?

If the will or proposed distribution of property is contested, an estate may remain in probate for several years. The timeline depends on how long relatives have to initiate probate, how long creditors have to come forward, and how busy the courts are. In some states, such as Florida, relatives have just 10 days to initiate probate, and the entire process takes approximately six months. In other areas, such as Massachusetts, the process can last one to two years, although the majority of probate activities occur in the first nine months. The value of the estate also affects the duration of the case. For example, California and Texas have simplified procedures for smaller estates, such as those valued at $150,000 or less.

When is a will's probate an automatic process?

Probate is the legal process of validating a last will and testament to ensure that the decedent's wishes are followed. A probate judge may automatically clear wills if they're accompanied by an affidavit from the decedent, a notary, and a witness. Some assets, including financial accounts with designated beneficiaries, and funds held by certain types of trusts don't have to go through probate.

What does it mean when property is under probate?

Real estate that's under probate is typically liquidated through the court system, which is most common when someone dies without a will. Home buyers who are interested in this type of property must follow special rules regarding deposits, which are sometimes nonrefundable, and buyer's premiums. Additionally, the court must approve the purchase price.

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