Maine Intestacy Laws
Maine Intestacy Laws
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Maine's Intestacy Laws

If you die without a valid will while residing in the State of Maine, you are said to have died "intestate."  In order to determine who will receive your property if you die intestate, the State of Maine has established a number of laws (known as "intestacy laws" or "laws of intestate succession.") The primary statutes comprising these intestacy laws, or laws of intestate succession, are set forth below. For a more complete list, see Maine Intestacy Laws | Intestate Succession statutes.

 

 

Intestate estate

Any part of the estate of a decedent not effectively disposed of by his will passes to his heirs as prescribed in the following sections of this Code. 

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 18-A, § 2-101

 

Share of spouse or registered domestic partner

The intestate share of the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner is:

     (1) If there is no surviving issue or parent of the decedent, the entire intestate estate;

     (2) If there is no surviving issue but the decedent is survived by a parent or parents, the first $50,000, plus 1/2 of the balance of the intestate estate;

     (3) If there are surviving issue all of whom are issue of the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner also, the first $50,000, plus 1/2 of the balance of the intestate estate; or

     (4) If there are surviving issue one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner, 1/2 of the intestate estate.

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 18-A, § 2-102

 

Share of heirs other than surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner

The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner under section 2-102 , or the entire estate if there is no surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner, passes as follows: 

      (1) To the issue of the decedent; to be distributed per capita at each generation as defined in section 2-106 ;

      (2) If there is no surviving issue, to the decedent's parent or parents equally;

      (3) If there is no surviving issue or parent, to the issue of the parents or either of them to be distributed per capita at each generation as defined in section 2-106 ;

      (4) If there is no surviving issue, parent or issue of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or issue of grandparents, half of the estate passes to the paternal grandparents if both survive, or to the surviving paternal grandparent, or to the issue of the paternal grandparents if both are deceased to be distributed per capita at each generation as defined in section 2-106 ; and the other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving grandparent or issue of grandparents on either the paternal or maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half; or

      (5) If there is no surviving issue, parent or issue of a parent, grandparent or issue of a grandparent, but the decedent is survived by one or more great-grandparents or issue of great-grandparents, half of the estate passes to the paternal great-grandparents who survive, or to the issue of the paternal great-grandparents if all are deceased, to be distributed per capita at each generation as defined in section 2-106 ; and the other half passes to the maternal relatives in the same manner; but if there is no surviving great-grandparent or issue of a great-grandparent on either the paternal or maternal side, the entire estate passes to the relatives on the other side in the same manner as the half.

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 18-A, § 2-103

 

Requirement that heir survive decedent for 120 hours

Any person who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent for purposes of homestead allowance, exempt property and intestate succession, and the decedent's heirs are determined accordingly. If the time of death of the decedent or of the person who would otherwise be an heir, or the times of death of both, cannot be determined, and it cannot be established that the person who would otherwise be an heir has survived the decedent by 120 hours, it is deemed that the person failed to survive for the required period. This section is not to be applied where its application would result in a taking of intestate estate by the State under section 2-105 .

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 18-A, § 2-104

 

No taker

If there is no taker under the provisions of this Article, the intestate estate passes to the State. 

Maine Revised Statutes, Title 18-A, § 2-105

 

Other intestacy statutes

There are additional statutes pertaining to the distribution of intestate property in the State of Maine. To view those statutes, please click here.

 

[Reference - Maine's Intestacy Laws]

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