A guide to Maine probate laws.
Anyone who is at least 18 years old or legally emancipated, and of “sound mind,” may write a will in Maine.
Every will must be signed by two witnesses of general competence.
Yes, but it’s recommended to choose disinterested witnesses.
Yes, Maine allows for a holographic will, but it must be in the testator’s handwriting.
No, Maine is not a community property state.
In a community property state, each spouse has an equal share of property acquired during the marriage. Property acquired before the marriage is considered separate property.
In Maine, when there is no will, the court will determine who receives the intestate estate based on the laws of intestate succession. (You can download the Policygenius app to create a will today, so the courts don't decide what happens to your property.)
This is how much a surviving spouse receives in a few different circumstances:
|If the decedent is a survived by spouse and:||Surviving spouse's share|
|No children or parents of the decedent||Everything|
|Children from the surviving spouse only||Everything|
|Children from someone else||1/2 of the intestate estate|
|Parents but no children||The first $300,000, plus 3/4 of any balance of the intestate estate|
|Children from the surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has other children||The first $100,000, plus 1/2 of any balance of the intestate estate|
Otherwise, when there is no surviving spouse, then the intestate estate will pass along in the following order:
The way this works, is that for someone to receive the estate, there must not be anyone left in the category above them. If an inheritor is dead, then their share typically passes to their children by a per capita designation.
Wills can’t be filed with the court for safekeeping. After the testator’s death, the will should be filed with probate and family court in the county where the decedent died.
Don’t live in Maine? Learn how to make a will in your state.
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About the author
Elissa is a personal finance editor at Policygenius in New York City. She writes about estate planning, mortgages, and occasionally health insurance. In the past she has written about film and music.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
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