Dying Without a Will in Maine

By Heather Frances J.D.

While it can be a simple matter to create a will, many people die without having one. Sometimes, the process of creating a will can seem too complicated or perhaps the deceased person simply didn’t think about creating a will. When there is no will, state law steps in to determine who inherits the property of the deceased person.

While it can be a simple matter to create a will, many people die without having one. Sometimes, the process of creating a will can seem too complicated or perhaps the deceased person simply didn’t think about creating a will. When there is no will, state law steps in to determine who inherits the property of the deceased person.

Wills

Maine residents may make a will to dictate how their property is to be divided. For the will to be valid, it must comply with Maine’s required formalities, such as being in writing and witnessed by two witnesses. Alternatively, it can be accepted without witnesses if the signature and important provisions of the will are in the decedent's handwriting. If you die without a will or with a will that doesn’t meet these formalities, you are said to have died intestate and Maine’s laws of intestate succession will determine who inherits your property.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now

Surviving Spouse

Under Maine’s intestacy law, a surviving spouse, or surviving registered domestic partner, has priority over other possible heirs. If you die without a surviving descendant or parents, your spouse will inherit your entire estate. If you do have a surviving parent or surviving children, who are also the children of your spouse, your spouse will inherit the first $50,000 of your estate and half of the remainder of the estate. If you have a surviving child who is not the child of your spouse, your spouse will receive half of your estate.

Surviving Children

If your children survive you, they are entitled to a portion of your estate. If your spouse also survives you, your children will share in the portion of your estate that your spouse does not inherit. For example, if you have two children who survive you who are also children of your spouse, your spouse will inherit the first $50,000 and half the remainder of your estate; your two children will split the other half, each receiving one quarter of your remaining estate. If you do not have a surviving spouse, your entire estate will be split amongst your surviving children. If one of your children has died and left children of his own, his share will be given to his children.

Surviving Parents

Your surviving parents will inherit if you have no surviving descendants. If your spouse survives you, your parents will inherit the portion of your estate that is left after your spouse receives the first $50,000 and half the remaining estate. If your spouse does not survive you, your parents will receive the entire estate. Your parents’ share will be divided equally between them.

Escheat

If none of your parents, children or spouse survive you, Maine gives your estate to more distant relatives, starting with your siblings. However, if none of the relatives in this hierarchy are alive, your estate will “escheat” to the state, meaning the state will inherit your estate. If you received any court-ordered payments for restitution as a crime victim while you were alive, that money will be given to Maine’s Elder Victims Restitution Fund.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
Hawaii Intestate Probate Laws

References

Related articles

Inheritance Laws & the Order of Precedence

When a person dies without leaving a will, he is said to have died intestate. All states have laws that kick in under these circumstances, and they vary by state. Intestacy laws set out the order of who will inherit the estate of a person who dies without a valid will. The primary residence of the deceased usually determines which state laws apply.

Dying Without a Will in the State of Utah

Wills provide you with the greatest control over distribution of your property after death. Under Utah law, if no valid will is present, your estate will pass according to a set of inflexible rules, placing priority on those closely related to you. If no surviving relatives can be located, your property becomes the property of the state.

Transfer of Property After Dying Without a Will in Washington State

A will is your opportunity to leave final instructions for your loved ones, and it can address issues like guardianship for your minor children as well as who should manage your assets after your death. Wills also provide directions regarding how your property should be distributed. If you die without a will, you lose the opportunity to tell your loved ones how to distribute your assets, so your estate will be distributed according to Washington law instead.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Who Inherits if There's No Will in Connecticut?

Your wishes for property distribution after you die in Connecticut may not be honored if you don't leave a valid will ...

Forms for Kentucky Wills

A will is a legal document that tells your family how to distribute your assets and manage your affairs after your ...

Virginia Inheritance Law for Siblings

If your brother or sister dies owning property in Virginia, your sibling’s will and Virginia law determine ...

Wyoming Estate Laws

Wyoming estate laws set forth how your property will be divided upon your death. Your estate includes everything you ...

Browse by category