Maine Intestacy Laws

The following are excerpts from Maine’s intestacy laws. Please reference the full body of the Maine Uniform Probate Code at the Maine Legislature’s site for any changes to those laws that may not be reflected below.

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Maine Intestate Laws

Title 18-C: PROBATE CODE

§ 1-101. Short title
This Title may be known and cited as “the Maine Uniform Probate Code.”

§ 1-108. Cost-of-living adjustment of certain dollar amounts
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Consumer Price Index” means the Consumer Price Index, Annual Average, for All Urban Consumers, CPI-U: U.S. City Average, All items, reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, or its successor or, if the index is discontinued, an equivalent index reported by a federal authority or, if no such index is reported, “Consumer Price Index” means a comparable index chosen by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
B. “Reference base index” means the Consumer Price Index for calendar year 2017.

2. Automatic adjustment of amounts for inflation. The dollar amounts stated in sections 2-102, 2-402, 2-403,2-405and 3-1201 apply to the estate of a decedent who died in or after 2017, but for the estate of a decedent who died after 2018, these dollar amounts must be increased or decreased if the Consumer Price Index for the calendar year immediately preceding the year of death exceeds or is less than the reference base index. The amount of any increase or decrease is computed by multiplying each dollar amount by the percentage by which the Consumer Price Index for the calendar year immediately preceding the year of death exceeds or is less than the reference base index. If any increase or decrease produced by the computation is not a multiple of $100, the increase or decrease is rounded down, if an increase, or up, if a decrease, to the next multiple of $100, but for the purpose of section 2-405, the periodic installment amount is the lump-sum amount divided by 12. If the Consumer Price Index for 2018 is changed by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the reference base index must be revised using the rebasing factor reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or other comparable data if a rebasing factor is not reported.

§ 1-201. Definitions
As used in this Code, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

5. Child. “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 has no other relationship to the parent than as a stepchild, a foster child, a grandchild or any more remote descendant.

9.Descendant. “Descendant,” as it relates to an individual, means all of the individual’s descendants of all generations. The relationship of parent and child at each generation is determined by the definition of “parent” and “child” contained in this Code.

14. Domestic partner. “Domestic partner” means one of 2 unmarried adults who are domiciled together under long-term arrangements that evidence a commitment to remain responsible indefinitely for each other’s welfare.
23. Heirs. “Heirs,” except as provided in section 2-711, means those persons, including the surviving spouse, who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.

27. Issue. “Issue,” as it relates to a person, means a descendant of that person.

37. Parent. “Parent” includes any person entitled to take, or who would be entitled to take if a 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 has no other relationship to the child than as a stepparent, foster parent or grandparent.

44. Property.”Property” means anything that may be the subject of ownership and includes both real and personal property or any interest therein, including a digital asset as defined in section 10-102, subsection 9.

49.Registered domestic partners. “Registered domestic partners” means domestic partners who are registered in accordance with Title 22, section 2710.

54. Spouse. “Spouse” means an individual who is lawfully married and includes registered domestic partners and individuals who are in a legal union that was validly formed in any state or jurisdiction and that provides substantially the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as a marriage.

59.Survive. “Survive,” as it relates to an individual, means to neither predecease an event, including the death of another individual, nor be deemed to have predeceased an event under section 2-104 or 2-702. “Survive” includes its derivatives, such as “survives,” “survived,” “survivor” and “surviving.”

§ 2-101. Intestate estate
1. Intestate succession. Any part of a decedent’s estate not effectively disposed of by will passes by intestate succession to the decedent’s heirs as prescribed in this Code, except as modified by the decedent’s will.

2. Will expressly excludes or limits. A decedent by will may expressly exclude or limit the right of an individual or class to succeed to property of the decedent passing by intestate succession. If that individual or a member of that class survives the decedent, the share of the decedent’s intestate estate to which that individual or class would have succeeded passes as if that individual or each member of that class had disclaimed the individual’s or member’s intestate share.

§ 2-102. Share of spouse
The intestate share of a decedent’s surviving spouse is:
1. No descendant or parent.

The entire intestate estate if:
A. No descendant or parent of the decedent survives the decedent; or
B. All of the decedent’s surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and there is no other descendant of the surviving spouse who survives the decedent;

2. No descendant but parent survives. The first $300,000, plus 3/4 of any balance of the intestate estate, if no descendant of the decedent survives the decedent, but a parent of the decedent survives the decedent;

3. Descendants of both decedent and spouse, just spouse. The first $100,000, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate, if all of the decedent’s surviving descendants are also descendants of the surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has one or more surviving descendants who are not descendants of the decedent; and

4. Descendants of decedent, not spouse. One-half of the intestate estate, if there are surviving descendants one or more of whom are not descendants of the surviving spouse.

§ 2-103. Share of heirs other than surviving spouse
1. Share of heirs other than surviving spouse; order. Any part of the intestate estate not passing to a decedent’s surviving spouse under section 2-102, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes in the following order to the individuals who survive the decedent:
A. To the decedent’s descendants per capita at each generation;

B. If there is no surviving descendant, to the decedent’s parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent if only one survives;

C. If there is no surviving descendant or parent, to the descendants of the decedent’s parents or either of them per capita at each generation;

D. If there is no surviving descendant, parent or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived on both the paternal and maternal sides by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents:




(1) Half to the decedent’s paternal grandparents equally if both survive, to the surviving paternal grandparent if only one survives or to the descendants of the decedent’s paternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, to be distributed to the descendants per capita at each generation; and
(2) Half to the decedent’s maternal grandparents equally if both survive, to the surviving maternal grandparent if only one survives or to the descendants of the decedent’s maternal grandparents or either of them if both are deceased, to be distributed to the descendants per capita at each generation;

E. If there is no surviving descendant, parent or descendant of a parent, but the decedent is survived by one or more grandparents or descendants of grandparents on the paternal but not the maternal side, or on the maternal but not the paternal side, to the decedent’s relatives on the side with one or more surviving members in the manner described in paragraph D; and

F. If there is no surviving descendant, parent or descendant of a parent, grandparent or descendant of a grandparent, but the decedent is survived by one or more great-grandparents or descendants of great-grandparents, half of the estate passes to the paternal great-grandparents who survive, or to the descendants of the paternal great-grandparents if all are deceased, to be distributed per capita at each generation as described 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 descendant 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. No takers under subsection 1. If there is no taker under subsection 1, but the decedent has:
A. One deceased spouse who has one or more descendants who survive the decedent, the estate or part thereof passes to that spouse’s descendants per capita at each generation; or

B. More than one deceased spouse who has one or more descendants who survive the decedent, an equal share of the estate or part thereof passes to each set of descendants per capita at each generation.

§ 2-104. Requirement of survival by 120 hours; individual in gestation
1. Applicable provisions. For purposes of intestate succession, homestead allowance and exempt property, and except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, the provisions of this subsection apply.
A. An individual born before a decedent’s death who fails to survive the decedent by 120 hours is deemed to have predeceased the decedent. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual born before the decedent’s death survived the decedent by 120 hours, the individual is deemed to have failed to survive for the required period.
B. An individual in gestation at a decedent’s death is deemed to be living at the decedent’s death if the individual lives 120 hours after birth. If it is not established by clear and convincing evidence that an individual in gestation at the decedent’s death lived 120 hours after birth, the individual is deemed to have failed to survive for the required period.

2. Not applicable if results in escheat. This section does not apply if its application would cause the estate to pass to 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
1. Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
A. “Deceased descendant,” “deceased parent” or “deceased grandparent” means a descendant, parent or grandparent, respectively, who either predeceased the decedent or is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under section 2-104.

B. “Surviving descendant” means a descendant who neither predeceased the decedent nor is deemed to have predeceased the decedent under section 2-104.

2. Per capita at each generation; decedent’s descendants. If, under section 2-103, subsection 1 , paragraph A, a decedent’s intestate estate or a part thereof passes per capita at each generation to the decedent’s descendants, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are:

A. Surviving descendants in the generation nearest to the decedent that contains one or more surviving descendants; and

B. Deceased descendants in the same generation identified in paragraph A who left surviving descendants, if any.

Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share. The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants had predeceased the decedent.

3. Per capita at each generation; descendants of decedent’s parents, grandparents. If, under section 2-103, subsection 1 , paragraph C or D, a decedent’s intestate estate or a part thereof passes per capita at each generation to the descendants of the decedent’s deceased parents or either of them or to the descendants of the decedent’s deceased paternal or maternal grandparents or either of them, the estate or part thereof is divided into as many equal shares as there are:
A. Surviving descendants in the generation nearest to the deceased parents or either of them, or the deceased grandparents or either of them, that contains one or more surviving descendants; and
B. Deceased descendants in the same generation identified in paragraph A who left surviving descendants, if any.

Each surviving descendant in the nearest generation is allocated one share. The remaining shares, if any, are combined and then divided in the same manner among the surviving descendants of the deceased descendants as if the surviving descendants who were allocated a share and their surviving descendants 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.

§ 2-115. Determination of parentage for purposes of intestate succession
Unless otherwise provided in this subpart, “parent” for purposes of intestate succession means a person who has established a parent-child relationship with the child under Article 9 or Title 19-A, chapter 61 and whose parental rights have not been terminated.

§ 2-118. Child born after death of parent
An individual is a parent of a child who is born after the individual’s death, if the child is:
1. In utero. In utero not later than 36 months after the individual’s death; or

2. Born. Born not later than 45 months after the individual’s death.

All copyrights and other rights to statutory text are reserved by the State of Maine. The text reflects changes made through the First Regular Session of the 129th Maine Legislature and is current through October 1, 2019. The text is subject to change without notice. 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.