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Demystifying Estate Law "Legalese"

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Jan 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Many people – even lawyers – have trouble understanding some of the vocabulary of trusts and estates law. The basic documents are these three: Will (sometimes called one's “Last Will and Testament), Power of Attorney, and Advanced Health Care Directive. A more complicated estate plan may ...

Big changes in Maine and federal estate tax

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Dec 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

Everything in life changes – especially the law on estate tax. Since I started practicing as an estate planning lawyer in Maine almost 14 years ago, estate tax laws have changed many times.   This last year, 2011, has been particularly eventful:  The federal estate and gift tax exemption incr...

Using a Revocable Living Trust to Avoid Probate

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Dec 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

“Probate” – a word that creates fear and dread in the hearts of many. (For more information on what “probate” is, see my previous blog, “What is Probate?”) But the truth is: while the probate process in some other states is complex, time-consuming and expensive, Maine has a streamlined probate pr...

A Trust for a Minor or Young Adult Child

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Oct 11, 2010 | 0 Comments

If you have a minor child or a child in the late teens or early twenties, you should consider leaving your child's inheritance to a trust, rather than to your child outright. Why?  The establishment of a trust will avoid the necessity of having a court appoint a conservator for a child under a...

Trusts 101

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Oct 05, 2010 | 0 Comments

Clients frequently come into my law office asking “Should I (or we) have a trust?”  My answer is always “It depends on your situation and what your goals are.”  Then I ask clients, “What are your goals?   What are the concerns you have that make you think about having a trust?”   These concerns ...

Estate Planning for Parents of Disabled Children

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Jun 27, 2010 | 0 Comments

Parents of disabled children tend to worry a lot. I am frequently asked the following questions:• Will my child be able to live independently, without my support?• Does my child need a guardian?• Where will my child live?• Does my child qualify for public assistance programs such as SSI and Maine...

Should I give my house to my children?

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Jan 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

 A question I often hear from clients is:  “Should I give my house (or camp) to my children?”  Clients often believe that deeding the property to others will preserve it in the event of nursing home expenses. Clients may also want to avoid probate or may want children to help with taxes, insuranc...

Second Time Around: Raising Grandchildren

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Dec 29, 2009 | 0 Comments

Are you, or is someone you know, raising a grandchild?  People over 50 are increasingly responsible for the care of young children and adolescents.  Sometimes young adults are unable or unwilling to be good parents themselves due to military service, divorce, substance abuse, mental illness, or o...

How to Probate an Estate in Maine

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Dec 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

What you should know about the probate process. “Probate” is the process under which the assets of a deceased person are distributed.  Maine has a streamlined probate system.  In most cases, no judge is involved, unless there is disagreement between heirs, a disagreement involving creditors or if...

Do You Need a Durable Power of Attorney

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Dec 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

As you get older, illness or injury may make it difficult for you to make decisions, both financial and personal. If you have a family member or friend whom you trust, you may ask that person to make decisions for you when the time comes. There is good reason to consider signing a Durable Power ...

Legal Help for Family Caregivers

Posted by Daniel J. Eccher Esq. | Nov 23, 2009 | 0 Comments

The important role of family caregivers. More than 50 million people in the U.S. provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member each year. Some “tend out” to a relative; others give up their homes to move to a relative's home; and others bring a relative into a guest room or i...

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Our office is in Winthrop, Maine, located approximately 10 miles from Augusta, and 17 miles from Lewiston.