The following are excerpts from Maine’s intestacy laws. Please reference the full body of the Probate Code of the Maine Revised Statutes at the Maine Legislature’s site for any changes to those laws that may not be reflected below.
You can also open the Maine Intestacy Evaluator℠ to see the distribution of a Maine intestate estate based upon any person’s unique family and financial circumstances.
Title 18-A: PROBATE CODE
§1-101. Short title
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Probate Code.
§1-201. GENERAL DEFINITIONS
Subject to additional definitions contained in the subsequent Articles which are applicable to specific Articles or parts, and unless the context otherwise requires, in this Code:
(3). “Child” includes any individual entitled to take as a child under this Code by intestate succession from the parent whose relationship is involved and excludes any person who is only a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild or any more remote descendant.
(17). “Heirs” means those persons, including the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.
(21). “Issue” of a person means all his lineal descendants of all generations, with the relationship of parent and child at each generation being determined by the definitions of child and parent contained in this Code.
(28). “Parent” includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if the child died without a will, as a parent under this Code by intestate succession from the child whose relationship is in question and excludes any person who is only a stepparent, foster parent, or grandparent.
(33). “Property” includes both real and personal property or any interest therein and means anything that may be the subject of ownership.
(36-A). “Registered domestic partners” means domestic partners who are registered in accordance with Title 22, section 2710.
§2-101. 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.
§2-102. 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.
§2-103. 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.
§2-104. 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.
§2-105. NO TAKER
If there is no taker under the provisions of this Article, the intestate estate passes to the State, except that an amount of funds included in the estate up to the total amount of restitution paid to the decedent pursuant to a court order for a crime of which the decedent was the victim passes to the Elder Victims Restitution Fund established in Title 34-A, section 1214-A.
§2-106. PER CAPITA AT EACH GENERATION
If per capita at each generation representation is called for by this Code, the estate is divided into as many shares as there are surviving heirs in the nearest degree of kinship which contains any surviving heirs and deceased persons in the same degree who left issue who survived the decedent. Each surviving heir in the nearest of degree which contains any surviving heir is allocated one share and the remainder of the estate is divided in the same manner as if the heirs already allocated a share and their issue had predeceased the decedent.
§2-107. KINDRED OF HALF BLOOD
Relatives of the half blood inherit the same share they would inherit if they were of the whole blood.
§2-108. AFTERBORN HEIRS
Relatives of the decedent conceived before his death but born thereafter inherit as if they had been born in the lifetime of the decedent.
§2-109. MEANING OF CHILD AND RELATED TERMS
If, for purposes of intestate succession, a relationship of parent and child must be established to determine succession by, through, or from a person:
(1). An adopted person is the child of an adopting parent and not of the natural parents except that an adopted child inherits from the natural parents and their respective kin if the adoption decree so provides, and except that adoption of a child by the spouse of a natural parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and either natural parent. If a natural parent wishes an adopted child to inherit from the natural parents and their respective kin, the adoption decree must provide for that status;
(2). In cases not covered by subsection (1), legal parentage of a child is determined under Title 19-A, chapter 61.
(3). A divorce or judicial separation does not bar the issue of the marriage from inheriting.
All copyrights and other rights to statutory text are reserved by the State of Maine. The text included in this publication reflects changes made through the First Special Session of the 128th Maine Legislature and is current through November 1, 2017. The text is subject to change without notice. It is a version that has not been officially certified by the Secretary of State. Refer to the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated and supplements for certified text.