An Act To Recodify and Revise the Maine Probate Code
Sec. A-1. 18-A MRSA, as amended, is repealed.
Sec. A-2. 18-C MRSA is enacted to read:
GENERAL PROVISIONS, DEFINITIONS AND JURISDICTION
SHORT TITLE, CONSTRUCTION AND GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 1-101. Short title
This Title may be known and cited as "the Maine Uniform Probate Code."
§ 1-102. Purposes; rule of construction
§ 1-103. Supplementary general principles of law applicable
Unless displaced by the provisions of this Code, the principles of law and equity supplement its provisions.
§ 1-104. Construction against implied repeal
This Code is a general act intended to provide unified coverage of its subject matter and no part of it may be considered impliedly repealed by subsequent legislation if it can reasonably be avoided.
§ 1-105. Effect of fraud and evasion
Whenever fraud has been perpetrated in connection with any proceeding or in any statement filed under this Code or if fraud is used to avoid or circumvent the provisions or purposes of this Code, any person injured by the fraud may obtain appropriate relief against the perpetrator of the fraud or restitution from any person, other than a bona fide purchaser, benefiting from the fraud, whether innocent or not. A proceeding must be commenced within 2 years after the discovery of the fraud, but a proceeding may not be brought against a person who is not a perpetrator of the fraud later than 6 years after the time of commission of the fraud. This section has no bearing on remedies relating to fraud practiced on a decedent during the decedent's lifetime that affects the succession of the decedent's estate.
§ 1-106. Evidence as to death or status
In proceedings under this Code, the rules of evidence in courts of general jurisdiction, including any relating to simultaneous deaths, are applicable unless specifically displaced by the Code or by rules adopted under section 1-304. In addition, notwithstanding Title 22, section 2707, the following provisions relating to determination of death and status are applicable.
§ 1-107. Acts by holder of general power
For the purpose of granting consent or approval with regard to the acts or accounts of a personal representative or trustee, including relief from liability or penalty for failure to post bond or to perform other duties, and for purposes of consenting to modification or termination of a trust or to deviation from its terms, the sole holder or all co-holders of a presently exercisable general power of appointment, including one in the form of a power of amendment or revocation, are deemed to act for beneficiaries to the extent their interests, as objects, takers in default or otherwise, are subject to the power.
§ 1-108. Cost-of-living adjustment of certain dollar amounts
§ 1-109. Transfer for value
Any recorded instrument described in this Code on which the register of deeds notes by an appropriate stamp "Maine Real Estate Transfer Tax Paid" is prima facie evidence that the transfer was made for value.
§ 1-110. Powers of fiduciaries relating to compliance with environmental laws
§ 1-111. Guardian ad litem
§ 1-201. Definitions
As used in this Code, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
SCOPE, JURISDICTION AND COURTS
§ 1-301. Territorial application
Except as otherwise provided in this Code, this Code applies to the following:
§ 1-302. Subject matter jurisdiction
§ 1-303. Venue; multiple proceedings; transfer
§ 1-304. Rule-making power
§ 1-305. Records and certified copies; judicial supervision
The register shall maintain records and files and provide copies of documents as provided in sections 1-501 to 1-511 and further records and copies as the Supreme Judicial Court may by rule provide. The register is subject to the supervision and authority of the judge of the court in which the register serves.
§ 1-306. No jury trial; removal
§ 1-307. Register; powers
The register has the power to probate wills, appoint personal representatives as provided in sections 3-302 and 3-307 and perform other duties set out in this Code. The acts and orders that may be performed by the register under this Code may also be performed by a judge of the court or by a deputy register appointed under the provisions of section 1-506.
§ 1-308. Appeals
Appeals from all final judgments, orders and decrees of the court may be taken to the Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, as in other civil actions.
§ 1-309. Judges
A judge of the court must be chosen and shall serve as provided in Title 4, sections 301 to 312.
§ 1-310. Oath or affirmation on filed documents
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Code or by rule, every document filed with the court under this Code, including applications, petitions and demands for notice, is deemed to include an oath, affirmation or statement to the effect that its representations are true as far as the person executing or filing it knows or is informed. Deliberate falsification may subject the person executing or filing the document to penalties for perjury.
NOTICE, PARTIES AND REPRESENTATION IN ESTATE LITIGATION AND OTHER MATTERS
§ 1-401. Notice
Whenever notice of any proceeding or any hearing is required under this Code, it must be given to any interested person in the manner the Supreme Judicial Court provides by rule. Each notice must include notification of any right to contest or appeal and may be proved by the filing of an affidavit of notice.
§ 1-402. Notice; waiver
A person, including a guardian ad litem, conservator or other fiduciary, may waive notice in the manner the Supreme Judicial Court provides by rule.
§ 1-403. Pleadings; when parties bound by others; notice
In formal proceedings involving trusts or estates of decedents, minors, protected persons or incapacitated persons, and in judicially supervised settlements, the following provisions apply.
(1) An order binding a conservator binds the person whose estate the conservator controls;
(2) An order binding a guardian binds the ward if no conservator of the ward's estate has been appointed;
(3) An order binding a trustee binds beneficiaries of the trust in proceedings to probate a will establishing or adding to a trust, in proceedings to review the acts or accounts of a prior fiduciary and in proceedings involving creditors or other 3rd parties;
(4) An order binding a personal representative binds persons interested in the undistributed assets of a decedent's estate in actions or proceedings by or against the estate; and
(5) An order binding a sole holder or all coholders of a general testamentary power of appointment binds other persons to the extent their interests, as objects or takers in default or otherwise, are subject to the power.
REGISTERS OF PROBATE
§ 1-501. Election; bond; vacancies; salaries; copies
§ 1-502. Condition of bond
A register's bond is conditioned on the register's accounting, according to law, for all fees received by or payable to the register by virtue of the office and the register's paying the fees to the county treasurer by the 15th day of each month following the month in which the fees were collected, as provided by law; the register's keeping, seasonably and in good order, the records of the court; the register's making and keeping correct and convenient indices of the records; and the register's faithfully discharging all other duties of the office. If a register forfeits the register's bond, the register is disqualified from holding office. The register's failure to complete the register's records for more than 6 months at any time, except in cases of sickness or extraordinary casualty, constitutes a forfeiture.
§ 1-503. Duties; records; binding of papers; facsimile signature
§ 1-504. Certification of wills; appointments of personal representatives; elective share petitions involving real estate
§ 1-505. Notice to beneficiaries; furnishing of copies
A register shall, within 30 days after a will is probated, notify by mail all beneficiaries under the will that devises have been made to them, stating the name of the testator and the name of the personal representative, if a personal representative has been appointed at the time this notification is sent. Beneficiaries in a will may, upon application to the register, be furnished with a copy of the probated will upon payment of a fee of $1 per page.
§ 1-506. Deputy register of probate
A register may appoint a deputy register for the county, subject to the requirements of Title 30-A, section 501. The deputy register may perform any of the duties prescribed by law to be performed by the register. The signature of the deputy register has the same force and effect as the signature of the register. The deputy register shall give bond to the county for the faithful discharge of the deputy register's duties in the same sum and in the same manner as the register. The deputy register shall act as register in the event of a vacancy or absence of the register, until the register resumes the register's duties or another person is qualified as register. The deputy register is entitled to receive an annual salary established by the register and approved by the county commissioners.
In the case of an absence of the register in a county where a deputy register has not been appointed or in the case of a vacancy in the office of register due to death, resignation or any other cause, the judge shall appoint a suitable person to act as register pro tempore until the register resumes the duties of office or another person is qualified as register. A register pro tempore must be sworn and, if the judge requires it, shall give bond as in the case of the register.
§ 1-507. Inspection of register's conduct of office
A judge shall constantly inspect the conduct of the register with respect to the register's records and duties and give information in writing of any breach of the register's bond to the treasurer of the county, who shall bring a civil action. Any funds recovered in the civil action must be applied toward the expenses of completing the records of the register under the direction of the judge and the surplus, if any, must inure to the county. If the funds are insufficient, the treasurer may recover the deficiency from the register in a civil action.
§ 1-508. Register incapable or neglects duties
When a register is unable to perform or neglects the duties of the office, the judge shall certify the register's inability or neglect to the county treasurer, the time of the commencement and termination of the inability or neglect and the name of the person who has performed the duties for that time period. The treasurer shall pay the person named by the judge a salary in proportion to the time that the person has performed the duties of the register and the amount must be deducted from the register's salary.
§ 1-509. Records in case of vacancy
When there is a vacancy in the office of register and the office's records are incomplete, the records may be completed and certified by the person appointed to act as register or by the register's successor.
§ 1-510. Register or court employee; prohibited activities
§ 1-511. Fees for approved blanks and forms
For all approved blanks, forms or schedule paper required in court proceedings, the register shall charge fees, which must be set by the register and approved by the county commissioners, so as to avoid incurring a loss to the county for such services. The register shall pay such fees to the county treasurer for the use and benefit of the county.
COSTS AND FEES
§ 1-601. Costs in contested cases
In contested probate cases and appeals, costs may be allowed to either party, including reasonable witness fees, costs of depositions, hospital records or medical reports and attorney's fees, to be paid to either or both parties out of the estate in controversy, as justice requires. In cases in which a will is contested on the grounds of undue influence or mental capacity, attorney's fees and costs may not be allowed to a party who unsuccessfully contests the will.
§ 1-602. Filing and certification fees
The person making the request shall pay the register the following fees for filing or certifying documents.
For filing a will for no probate, there is no charge.
For filing a will to be probated and without an appointment, the fee is $15.
§ 1-603. Registers to account monthly for fees
A register shall account for each calendar month under oath to the county treasurer for all fees received by the register or payable to the register by virtue of the office, specifying the items, and shall pay the whole amount for each calendar month to the treasurer of the county not later than the 15th day of the following month.
§ 1-604. Expenses of partition
When a partition of real estate is made by order of a judge, the interested parties shall pay the expenses in proportion to their interests. When expenses accrue prior to the closing order or statement of the personal representative of the deceased owner of such real estate, the personal representative may pay the expenses from the personal representative's account. In case of neglect or refusal to pay of any person liable to pay such expenses, the judge may issue a warrant of distress against that person for the amount due and costs of process.
§ 1-605. Compensation of court reporters
Court reporters appointed under Title 4, sections 751 to 756 shall, if a transcript is requested by the court or a party, file the original transcript with the court and receive the same compensation as provided by law for temporary court reporters as well as mileage at the rate of 10¢ a mile.
Transcripts furnished for the files of the court must be paid for by the county in which the court or examination is held at the rate prescribed by the Supreme Judicial Court, after the reporter's bill has been allowed by the judge of the court in which the services were rendered. In probate matters, the personal representative, conservator or guardian shall, in each case out of the estate handled by that personal representative, conservator or guardian, pay to the register for the county the amount of the reporter's fees, giving the fees the same priority as provided in section 3-815 for other costs and expenses of administration, or as otherwise provided for in the case of insolvent estates. If the estate assets are not sufficient, the court may order payment by the county.
§ 1-606. Court reporters to furnish copies
Court reporters shall furnish correct typewritten copies of the oral testimony taken at any hearing or examination upon request by any person and payment of transcript rates prescribed by the Supreme Judicial Court.
§ 1-607. Surcharge for restoration, storage and preservation of records
§ 1-608. Fees not established in statute
Unless otherwise specifically stated in statute or in the Rules of Probate Procedure published by the Supreme Judicial Court, the Probate Court shall charge the same fee charged by the District Court or the Superior Court for similar procedures.
CHANGE OF NAME
§ 1-701. Petition to change name
PROBATE AND TRUST LAW ADVISORY COMMISSION
§ 1-801. Commission established
The Probate and Trust Law Advisory Commission, established in Title 5, section 12004-I, subsection 73-B and referred to in this Part as "the commission," is created for the purpose of conducting a continuing study of the probate and trust laws of the State.
§ 1-802. Consultants; experts
Whenever it considers appropriate, the commission may seek the advice of consultants or experts, including representatives of the legislative and executive branches, in fields related to the commission's duties.
§ 1-803. Duties
§ 1-804. Organization
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court shall notify all members of the commission of the time and place of the first meeting of the commission. At that time the commission shall organize, elect a chair, vice-chair and secretary-treasurer from its membership and adopt rules governing the administration of the commission and its affairs. The commission shall maintain financial records as required by the State Auditor.
§ 1-805. Federal funds
The commission may accept federal funds on behalf of the State.
INTESTACY, WILLS AND DONATIVE TRANSFERS
§ 2-101. Intestate estate
§ 2-102. Share of spouse
The intestate share of a decedent’s surviving spouse is:
§ 2-103. Share of heirs other than surviving spouse
(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;
§ 2-104. Requirement of survival by 120 hours; individual in gestation
§ 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
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.
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.
§ 2-108. Advancements
§ 2-109. Debts to decedent
A debt owed to the decedent is not charged against the intestate share of any individual except the debtor. If the debtor fails to survive the decedent, the debt is not taken into account in computing the intestate share of the debtor's descendants.
§ 2-110. Alienage
An individual is not disqualified to take as an heir because the individual or an individual through whom the individual claims is or has been an alien.
§ 2-111. Dower and curtesy abolished
The estates of dower and curtesy are abolished.
§ 2-112. Individuals related to decedent through 2 lines
An individual who is related to the decedent through 2 lines of relationship is entitled to only a single share based on the relationship that would entitle the individual to the larger share. In cases where such an heir would take equal shares, the individual is entitled to the equivalent of a single share. The court shall equitably apportion the amount equivalent in value to the share denied such heir by the provisions of this section.
§ 2-113. Parent barred from inheriting
§ 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.
§ 2-116. Effect of a pending petition
If a petition to establish parentage under Title 19-A, chapter 61 or a petition for adoption under Article 9 is pending and has not been finally adjudicated at the time of the petitioner's death, the subject of the petition is considered a child of the petitioner for intestate succession purposes and may inherit from and through the petitioner. If the subject of the petition dies before a final adjudication of parentage is issued, the petitioner may inherit from or through the subject of the petition only if there is a final adjudication of parentage.
§ 2-117. Effect of an order granting adoption on adoptee and adoptee's former parents
An order granting an adoption divests the adoptee's former parents of all legal rights, powers, privileges, immunities, duties and obligations concerning the adoptee, including the right to inherit from or through the adoptee. An adoptee, however, may inherit from the adoptee's former parents if so provided in the adoption decree.
§ 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:
ELECTIVE SHARE OF SURVIVING SPOUSE
§ 2-201. Definitions
As used in this Part, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 2-202. Elective share
§ 2-203. Composition of the augmented estate; marital-property portion
If the decedent and the spouse were married to each other:
§ 2-204. Decedent’s net probate estate
The value of the augmented estate includes the value of the decedent’s probate estate reduced by funeral and administration expenses, homestead allowance, family allowances, exempt property and enforceable claims.
§ 2-205. Decedent’s nonprobate transfers to others
The value of the augmented estate includes the value of the decedent’s nonprobate transfers to others, not included under section 2-204, of any of the following types, in the amount provided respectively for each type of transfer:
§ 2-206. Decedent's nonprobate transfers to the surviving spouse
Excluding property passing to the surviving spouse under the federal Social Security system, the value of the augmented estate includes the value of the decedent’s nonprobate transfers to the decedent’s surviving spouse, which consist of all property that passed outside probate at the decedent’s death from the decedent to the surviving spouse by reason of the decedent’s death, including:
§ 2-207. Surviving spouse's property and nonprobate transfers to others
(1) The surviving spouse's fractional interest in property held in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship;
(2) The surviving spouse's ownership interest in property or accounts held in co-ownership registration with the right of survivorship; and
(3) Property that passed to the surviving spouse by reason of the decedent's death, but not including the spouse's right to homestead allowance, family allowance, exempt property or payments under the federal Social Security system; and
§ 2-208. Exclusions, valuation and overlapping application
§ 2-209. Sources from which elective share payable
§ 2-210. Personal liability of recipients
§ 2-211. Proceeding for elective share; time limit
§ 2-212. Right of election personal to surviving spouse
The right of election may be exercised only by a surviving spouse who is living when the petition for the elective share is filed in the court under section 2-211, subsection 1. If the election is not exercised by the surviving spouse personally, it may be exercised on the surviving spouse's behalf by the surviving spouse's conservator or agent under authority of a power of attorney.
§ 2-213. Waiver of right to elect and of other rights
(1) Was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the decedent;
(2) Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the decedent beyond the disclosure provided; and
(3) Did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the decedent.
§ 2-214. Protection of payors and other 3rd parties
SPOUSE AND CHILDREN UNPROVIDED FOR IN WILLS
§ 2-301. Entitlement of spouse; premarital will
§ 2-302. Omitted children
(1) The portion of the testator's estate in which the omitted after-born or after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to devises made to the testator's then-living children under the will;
(2) The omitted after-born or after-adopted child is entitled to receive the share of the testator's estate, as limited in subparagraph (1), that the child would have received had the testator included all omitted after-born and after-adopted children with the children to whom devises were made under the will and had given an equal share of the estate to each child;
(3) To the extent feasible, the interest granted an omitted after-born or after-adopted child under this paragraph must be of the same character, whether equitable or legal, present or future, as that devised to the testator's then-living children under the will; and
(4) In satisfying a share provided by this paragraph, devises to the testator's children who were living when the will was executed abate ratably. In abating the devises of the then-living children, the court shall preserve to the maximum extent possible the character of the testamentary plan adopted by the testator.
EXEMPT PROPERTY AND ALLOWANCES
§ 2-401. Applicable law
This Part applies to the estate of the decedent who dies domiciled in this State. Rights to homestead allowance, exempt property and family allowance for a decedent who dies not domiciled in this State are governed by the law of the decedent's domicile at death.
§ 2-402. Homestead allowance
A decedent's surviving spouse is entitled to a homestead allowance of $22,500. If there is no surviving spouse, each minor child and each dependent child of the decedent is entitled to a homestead allowance amounting to $22,500 divided by the number of minor and dependent children of the decedent. The homestead allowance is exempt from and has priority over all claims against the estate. Homestead allowance is in addition to any share passing to the surviving spouse or minor or dependent child by the decedent's will unless otherwise provided by intestate succession or by way of elective share.
§ 2-403. Exempt property
In addition to the homestead allowance, the decedent's surviving spouse is entitled from the estate to a value, not exceeding $15,000 in excess of any security interests in the estate of tangible personal property, including, but not limited to, in household furniture, automobiles, furnishings, appliances and personal effects. If there is no surviving spouse, children of the decedent are entitled jointly to the same value; however, the decedent, by will, may exclude one or more adult children from the receipt of exempt property. If encumbered chattels are selected and the value in excess of security interests, plus that of other exempt property, is less than $15,000, or if there is not $15,000 worth of exempt property in the estate, the spouse or children are entitled to other assets of the estate, if any, to the extent necessary to make up the $15,000 value. Rights to exempt property and assets needed to make up a deficiency of exempt property have priority over all claims against the estate, except that the right to any assets to make up a deficiency of exempt property abates as necessary to permit earlier payment of homestead allowance and family allowance. These rights are in addition to any benefit or share passing to the surviving spouse or children by the decedent's will unless otherwise provided by intestate succession or by way of elective share.
§ 2-404. Family allowance
§ 2-405. Source, determination and documentation
If the estate is otherwise sufficient, property specifically devised may not be used to satisfy rights to homestead and exempt property. Subject to this restriction, the surviving spouse, the guardians of minor children or children who are adults may select property of the estate as homestead allowance and exempt property. The personal representative may make these selections if the surviving spouse, the children or the guardians of the minor children are unable or fail to do so within a reasonable time or there is no guardian of a minor child. The personal representative may execute an instrument or deed of distribution to establish the ownership of property taken as homestead allowance or exempt property. The personal representative may determine the family allowance in a lump sum not exceeding $27,000 or periodic installments not exceeding $2,250 per month for one year, and may disburse funds of the estate in payment of the family allowance and any part of the homestead allowance payable in cash. The personal representative or any interested person aggrieved by any selection, determination, payment, proposed payment or failure to act under this section may petition the court for appropriate relief, which relief may include a family allowance other than that which the personal representative determined or could have determined.
§ 2-501. Who may make a will
An individual of sound mind who is 18 or more years of age or a legally emancipated minor may make a will.
§ 2-502. Execution; holographic wills
§ 2-503. Self-proved will
I, ......................................, the testator, on this .......... day of .........., 20.., being first duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that I sign and execute this instrument as my last will and that I sign it willingly (or willingly direct another to sign for me), as my free and voluntary act and that I am eighteen years of age or older or am a legally emancipated minor, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.
We, ......................................, ......................................, the witnesses, being first duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that the testator has signed and executed this instrument as (his) (her) last will and that (he) (she) signed it willingly (or willingly directed another to sign for (him) (her)), and that each of us, in the presence and hearing of the testator, signs this will as witness to the testator's signing, and that to the best of our knowledge the testator is eighteen years of age or older or is a legally emancipated minor, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
Subscribed, sworn to and acknowledged before me by ......................................, the testator, and subscribed and sworn to before me by ...................................... and ......................................, witnesses, this ........ day of ..........
|(Official capacity of officer)|
We, ......................................, ...................................... and ......................................, the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument, being first duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that the testator signed and executed the instrument as (his) (her) last will and that (he) (she) had signed willingly (or willingly directed another to sign for (him) (her)), as (his) (her) free and voluntary act, and that each of the witnesses, in the presence and hearing of the testator, signed the will as witness and that to the best of (his) (her) knowledge the testator was at that time eighteen years of age or older or a legally emancipated minor, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
Subscribed, sworn to and acknowledged before me by ......................................, the testator, and subscribed and sworn to before me by ...................................... and ....................................., witnesses, this ......... day of .................
|(Official capacity of officer)|
§ 2-504. Who may witness a will
§ 2-505. Choice of law as to execution
A written will is valid if executed in compliance with section 2-502 or if its execution complies with the law at the time of execution of the place where the will is executed, or of the law of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode or is a national or if executed in compliance with 10 United States Code, Section 1044d.
§ 2-506. Revocation by writing or by act
§ 2-507. Revocation by change of circumstances
Except as provided in sections 2-802, 2-803 and 2-804, a change of circumstances does not revoke a will or any part of it.
§ 2-508. Revival of revoked will
§ 2-509. Incorporation by reference
Any writing in existence when a will is executed may be incorporated by reference if the language of the will manifests this intent and describes the writing sufficiently to permit its identification.
§ 2-510. Uniform Testamentary Additions to Trusts Act
The devise is not invalid because the trust is amendable or revocable or because the trust was amended after the execution of the will or the testator's death.
§ 2-511. Events of independent significance
A will may dispose of property by reference to acts and events that have significance apart from their effect upon the dispositions made by the will, whether they occur before or after the execution of the will or before or after the testator's death. The execution or revocation of a will of another person is such an event.
§ 2-512. Separate writing identifying devise of certain types of tangible personal property
Whether or not the provisions relating to holographic wills apply, a will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must be in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by the testator and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator's death; it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will; it may be altered by the testator after its preparation; and it may be a writing that has no significance apart from its effect upon the dispositions made by the will.
§ 2-513. Contracts concerning succession
A contract to make a will or devise, or not to revoke a will or devise, or to die intestate, if executed after July 1, 2019, can be established only by:
The execution of a joint will or mutual wills does not create a presumption of a contract not to revoke the will or wills.
§ 2-514. Disposition of will deposited with court
A will deposited for safekeeping with the court in the office of the register before September 19, 1997 may be delivered only to the testator or to a person authorized in writing signed by the testator to receive the will. A conservator may be allowed to examine a deposited will of a protected testator under procedures designed to maintain the confidential character of the document to the extent possible and to ensure that it will be resealed and left on deposit after the examination. Upon being informed of the testator's death, the court shall notify any person designated to receive the will and deliver it to that designated person on request; or the court may deliver the will to the appropriate court. The court may not accept a will for safekeeping after September 19, 1997.
§ 2-515. Duty of custodian of will; liability
After the death of a testator, a person having custody of a will of the testator shall deliver it with reasonable promptness to a person able to secure its probate or, if no such person is known, to an appropriate court for filing and recording until probate is sought. A person having custody of a will is not liable, to any person aggrieved, for failure to learn of the death of the testator of that will and the failure, therefore, to deliver that will as required. A person who willfully fails to deliver a will or who willfully defaces or destroys any will of a deceased person is liable to any person aggrieved for the damages that may be sustained by such failure to deliver or by such defacement or destruction. A person who willfully refuses or fails to deliver a will, or who defaces or destroys it, after being ordered by the court in a proceeding brought for the purpose of compelling delivery is subject to penalty for contempt of court.
§ 2-516. Penalty clause for contest
A provision in a will purporting to penalize an interested person for contesting the will or instituting other proceedings relating to the estate is unenforceable if probable cause exists for instituting proceedings.
§ 2-517. Statutory wills
NOTICE TO THE PERSON WHO SIGNS THIS WILL:
1. THIS STATUTORY WILL HAS SERIOUS LEGAL EFFECTS ON YOUR FAMILY AND PROPERTY. IF THERE IS ANYTHING IN THIS WILL THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND, YOU SHOULD CONSULT A LAWYER AND ASK THE LAWYER TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU.
2. THIS WILL DOES NOT DISPOSE OF PROPERTY THAT PASSES ON YOUR DEATH TO ANY PERSON BY OPERATION OF LAW OR BY CONTRACT. FOR EXAMPLE, THE WILL DOES NOT DISPOSE OF JOINT TENANCY ASSETS OR YOUR SPOUSE'S ELECTIVE SHARE, AND IT WILL NOT NORMALLY APPLY TO PROCEEDS OF LIFE INSURANCE ON YOUR LIFE OR YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN BENEFITS.
3. THIS WILL IS NOT DESIGNED TO REDUCE DEATH TAXES OR ANY OTHER TAXES. YOU SHOULD DISCUSS THE TAX RESULTS OF YOUR DECISIONS WITH A COMPETENT TAX ADVISOR.
4. YOU CANNOT CHANGE, DELETE OR ADD WORDS TO THE FACE OF THIS MAINE STATUTORY WILL. YOU SHOULD MARK THROUGH ALL SECTIONS OR PARTS OF SECTIONS THAT YOU DO NOT COMPLETE. YOU MAY REVOKE THIS MAINE STATUTORY WILL AND YOU MAY AMEND IT BY CODICIL.
5. THIS WILL TREATS ADOPTED CHILDREN AS IF THEY ARE NATURAL CHILDREN.
6. IF YOU MARRY OR DIVORCE AFTER YOU SIGN THIS WILL, YOU SHOULD MAKE AND SIGN A NEW WILL.
7. IF YOU HAVE ANOTHER CHILD AFTER YOU SIGN THIS WILL, YOU SHOULD MAKE AND SIGN A NEW WILL.
8. THIS WILL IS NOT VALID UNLESS IT IS SIGNED BY AT LEAST TWO WITNESSES. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY READ AND FOLLOW THE WITNESSING PROCEDURE DESCRIBED AT THE END OF THIS WILL.
9. YOU SHOULD KEEP THIS WILL IN YOUR SAFE-DEPOSIT BOX OR OTHER SAFE PLACE.
10. IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS WHETHER OR NOT THIS WILL ADEQUATELY SETS OUT YOUR WISHES FOR THE DISPOSITION OF YOUR PROPERTY, YOU SHOULD CONSULT A LAWYER.
This is my will and I revoke any prior wills and codicils.
2.1 REAL PROPERTY. I give all my real property to my spouse, if living; otherwise it shall be equally divided among my children who survive me; except as specifically provided below: (specific distribution not valid without signature.)
I leave the following specific real property to the person(s) named:
|(name)||(description of item)||(signature)|
2.2 PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. I give all my furniture, furnishings, household items, personal automobiles and personal items to my spouse, if living; otherwise they shall be equally divided among my children who survive me; except as specifically provided below: (specific distribution not valid without signature.)
I leave the following specific items to the person(s) named:
|(name)||(description of item)||(signature)|
2.3 CASH GIFT TO CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS OR INSTITUTIONS. I make the following cash gift(s) to the named charitable organizations or institutions in the amount stated. If I fail to sign this provision, no gift is made. If the charitable organization or institution does not survive me or accept the gift, then no gift is made.
2.4 ALL OTHER ASSETS (MY "RESIDUARY ESTATE"). I adopt only one Property Disposition Clause by placing my initials in the box in front of the letter "A," "B" or "C" signifying which clause I wish to adopt. I place my signature after clause "A" or clause "B," or after each individual distribution in clause "C." If I fail to sign the appropriate distribution(s) or if I sign in more than one clause or if I fail to place my initials in the appropriate box, this paragraph 2.4 will be invalid and I realize that the remainder of my property will be distributed as if I did not make a will.
Property Disposition Clauses. (select one)
___ A. I leave all my remaining property to my spouse, if living. If my spouse is not living, then in equal shares to my children and the descendants of any deceased child. _________________ (signature).
___ B. I leave the following stated amount to my spouse and the remainder in equal shares to my children and the descendants of any deceased child. If my spouse is not living, that share shall be distributed in equal shares to my children and the descendants of any deceased child. _________________ (signature).
___ C. I leave the following stated amounts to the persons named:
2.5 UNDISTRIBUTED PROPERTY. If I have any property that, for any reason, does not pass under the other parts of this will, all of that property shall be distributed as follows: (Draw a line through any unused space.)
|(this paragraph only valid if signed)|
3.1 GUARDIAN. (If you have a child under 18 years of age, you may name at least one person to serve as guardian for the child.)
If a guardian is needed for any child of mine, then I nominate the first guardian named below to serve as guardian of that child. If the person does not serve, then the others shall serve in the order I list them. My nomination of a guardian is not valid without my signature.
3.2 CONSERVATOR. (A conservator may be named to manage the property of a minor child. You do not need to name a conservator if you wish the guardian to act as conservator. If you wish to name a conservator in addition to a guardian, complete this paragraph 3.2. If you do not wish to name a separate conservator, do not complete this paragraph.)
I nominate the first conservator named below to serve as conservator for any minor children of mine. If the first conservator does not serve, then the others shall serve in the order I list them. My nomination of a conservator is not valid without my signature.
3.3 PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE. (Name at least one.) I nominate the person or institution named as first personal representative below to administer the provisions of this will. If that person or institution does not serve, then I nominate the others to serve in the order I list them. My nomination of a personal representative is not valid without my signature.
|FIRST PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE|
|SECOND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE|
|THIRD PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE|
I sign my name to this Maine Statutory Will on ______________ (date) at _____________ (city) in the State of _______________.
STATEMENT OF WITNESSES (You must have two witnesses.)
Each of us declares that the person who signed above willingly signed this Maine Statutory Will in our presence or willingly directed another to sign it for him or her or that he or she acknowledged that the signature on this Maine Statutory Will is his or hers or that he or she acknowledged that this Maine Statutory Will is his or her will and we sign below as witnesses to that signing.
Printed name ____________________
Printed name ____________________
Completing the following section and having all signatures acknowledged by a notary public or other individual authorized to take acknowledgments is optional but if completed will simplify the submission of your will to the probate court after your death.
I, ......................................, the testator, on this .......... day of .........., 20.., being first duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that I sign and execute this instrument as my last will and that I sign it willingly (or willingly direct another to sign for me) as my free and voluntary act and that I am 18 years of age or older or am a legally emancipated minor, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
We, ......................................, ......................................, the witnesses, being first duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that the testator has signed and executed this instrument as (his)(her) last will and that (he)(she) signed it willingly (or willingly directed another to sign for (him)(her)), and that each of us, in the presence and hearing of the testator, signs this will as witness to the testator's signing, and that to the best of our knowledge the testator is 18 years of age or older or is a legally emancipated minor, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
The State of ...............................
County of ...................................
Subscribed, sworn to and acknowledged before me by ......................................, the testator, and subscribed and sworn to before me by ...................................... and ......................................, witnesses, this ........ day of ..........
(Official capacity of officer)
RULES OF CONSTRUCTION APPLICABLE ONLY TO WILLS
§ 2-601. Scope
In the absence of a finding of a contrary intention, the rules of construction in this Part control the construction of a will.
§ 2-602. Will may pass all property and after-acquired property
A will may provide for the passage of all property the testator owns at death and all property acquired by the estate after the testator’s death.
§ 2-603. Antilapse; deceased devisee; class gifts
(1) Rules of construction applicable to a class gift created in the testator's will if the devise or exercise of the power is in the form of a class gift; or
(2) Rules for intestate succession if the devise or exercise of the power is not in the form of a class gift.
(1) A class member if the devise is in the form of a class gift;
(2) An individual or class member who was deceased at the time the testator executed the testator's will as well as an individual or class member who was then living but who failed to survive the testator; and
(3) An appointee under a power of appointment exercised by the testator's will.
(1) The alternative devise is in the form of a class gift and one or more members of the class is entitled to take under the will; or
(2) The alternative devise is not in the form of a class gift and the expressly designated devisee of the alternative devise is entitled to take under the will.
"Descendant," in the phrase "surviving descendant," used in reference to a deceased devisee or class member, means the descendant of a deceased devisee or class member in paragraphs A and B who would take under a class gift created in the testator's will.
As used in this subsection, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
(1) Is to a descendant of a devisee of the primary devise;
(2) Is an alternative devise with respect to the primary devise;
(3) Is a devise for which a substitute gift is created; and
(4) Would have taken effect had all the deceased devisees who left surviving descendants survived the testator except the deceased devisee or devisees of the primary devise.
§ 2-604. Failure of testamentary provision
§ 2-605. Increase in securities; accessions
§ 2-606. Nonademption of specific devises; unpaid proceeds of sale, condemnation or insurance; sale by conservator or agent
§ 2-607. Nonexoneration
A specific devise passes subject to any mortgage interest existing at the date of death without right of exoneration, regardless of a general directive in the will to pay debts.
§ 2-608. Exercise power of appointment
In the absence of a requirement that a power of appointment be exercised by a reference to the power or by an express or specific reference to the power, a general residuary clause in a will, or a will making general disposition of all of the testator's property, expresses an intention to exercise a power of appointment held by the testator only if:
§ 2-609. Ademption by satisfaction
RULES OF CONSTRUCTION APPLICABLE TO WILLS AND OTHER GOVERNING INSTRUMENTS
§ 2-701. Scope
In the absence of a finding of a contrary intention, the rules of construction in this Part control the construction of a governing instrument. The rules of construction in this Part apply to a governing instrument of any type, except as the application of a particular section is limited by its terms to a specific type or types of provision or governing instrument.
§ 2-702. Requirement of survival by 120 hours
For the purposes of this subsection, "co-owners with right of survivorship" includes joint tenants, tenants by the entireties and other co-owners of property or accounts held under circumstances that entitle one or more to the whole of the property or account on the death of the other or others.
§ 2-703. Choice of law as to meaning and effect of governing instrument
The meaning and legal effect of a governing instrument is determined by the local law of the state selected in the governing instrument, unless the application of that law is contrary to the provisions relating to the elective share described in Part 2, the provisions relating to exempt property and allowances described in Part 4 or any other public policy of this State otherwise applicable to the disposition.
§ 2-704. Power of appointment; compliance with specific reference requirement
A powerholder's substantial compliance with a formal requirement of appointment imposed in a governing instrument by the donor, including a requirement that the instrument exercising the power of appointment make reference or specific reference to the power, is sufficient if:
§ 2-705. Class gifts construed to accord with intestate succession; exceptions
§ 2-706. Life insurance; retirement plan; account with POD designation; TOD designation; deceased beneficiary
(1) A class member if the beneficiary designation is in the form of a class gift; and
(2) An individual or class member who was deceased at the time the beneficiary designation was executed as well as an individual or class member who was then living but who failed to survive the decedent.
"Beneficiary" excludes a joint tenant of a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship and a party to a joint survivorship account.
(1) Rules of construction applicable to a class gift created in the decedent's beneficiary designation if the beneficiary designation is in the form of a class gift; or
(2) Rules for intestate succession if the beneficiary designation is not in the form of a class gift.
(1) The alternative beneficiary designation is in the form of a class gift and one or more members of the class is entitled to take; or
(2) The alternative beneficiary designation is not in the form of a class gift and the expressly designated beneficiary of the alternative beneficiary designation is entitled to take.
"Descendants," in the phrase "surviving descendants," used in reference to a deceased beneficiary or class member in paragraphs A and B, means the descendants of a deceased beneficiary or class member who would take under a class gift created in the beneficiary designation.
As used in this subsection, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
(1) Is to a descendant of a beneficiary of the primary beneficiary designation;
(2) Is an alternative beneficiary designation with respect to the primary beneficiary designation;
(3) Is a beneficiary designation for which a substitute gift is created; and
(4) Would have taken effect had all the deceased beneficiaries who left surviving descendants survived the decedent except the deceased beneficiary or beneficiaries of the primary beneficiary designation.
§ 2-707. Survivorship with respect to future interests under terms of trust; substitute takers
(1) The alternative future interest is in the form of a class gift and one or more members of the class is entitled to take in possession or enjoyment; or
(2) The alternative future interest is not in the form of a class gift and the expressly designated beneficiary of the alternative future interest is entitled to take in possession or enjoyment.
"Descendants," in the phrase "surviving descendants," used in reference to a deceased beneficiary or class member in paragraphs A and B, means the descendants of a deceased beneficiary or class member who would take under a class gift created in the trust.
As used in this subsection, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
(1) Is to a descendant of a beneficiary of the primary future interest;
(2) Is an alternative future interest with respect to the primary future interest;
(3) Is a future interest for which a substitute gift is created; and
(4) Would have taken effect had all the deceased beneficiaries who left surviving descendants survived the distribution date except the deceased beneficiary or beneficiaries of the primary future interest.
For purposes of this subsection, "transferor" means the donor if the power was a nongeneral power and means the donee if the power was a general power.
§ 2-708. Class gifts to "descendants," "issue" or "heirs of the body"; form of distribution if none specified
If a class gift in favor of "descendants," "issue" or "heirs of the body" does not specify the manner in which the property is to be distributed among the class members, the property is distributed among the class members who are living when the interest is to take effect in possession or enjoyment, in such shares as they would receive, under the applicable law of intestate succession, if the designated ancestor had then died intestate owning the subject matter of the class gift.
§ 2-709. Per capita at each generation; per stirpes or by representation
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 distribution date.
Each surviving child, if any, is allocated one share. The share of each deceased child with surviving descendants is divided in the same manner, with subdivision repeating at each succeeding generation until the property is fully allocated among surviving descendants.
§ 2-710. Worthier-title doctrine abolished
The doctrine of worthier title is abolished as a rule of law and as a rule of construction. Language in a governing instrument describing the beneficiaries of a disposition as the transferor's "heirs," "heirs at law," "next of kin," "distributees," "relatives" or "family," or language of similar import, does not create or presumptively create a reversionary interest in the transferor.
§ 2-711. Interests in "heirs" and like
If an applicable statute or a governing instrument calls for a present or future distribution to or creates a present or future interest in a designated individual's "heirs," "heirs at law," "next of kin," "relatives" or "family," or language of similar import, the property passes to those persons, including the State, and in such shares as would succeed to the designated individual's intestate estate under the intestate succession law of the designated individual's domicile if the designated individual died when the disposition is to take effect in possession or enjoyment. If the designated individual's surviving spouse is living but is remarried at the time the disposition is to take effect in possession or enjoyment, the surviving spouse is not an heir of the designated individual.
GENERAL PROVISIONS CONCERNING PROBATE AND NONPROBATE TRANSFERS
§ 2-801. Effect of divorce, annulment and decree of separation
§ 2-802. Effect of homicide on intestate succession, wills, trusts, joint assets, life insurance and beneficiary designations
(1) Disposition or appointment of property made by the decedent to the killer in a governing instrument;
(2) Provision in a governing instrument conferring a general or nongeneral power of appointment on the killer; and
(3) Nomination of the killer in a governing instrument nominating or appointing the killer to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including as a personal representative, executor, trustee or agent; and
§ 2-803. Effect of criminal conviction on intestate succession, wills, joint assets, beneficiary designations and other property acquisition when restitution is owed to the decedent
A person who has been convicted of a crime of which the decedent was a victim is not entitled to the following benefits to the extent that the benefits do not exceed the amount of restitution the person owes to the decedent as a result of the sentence for the crime:
§ 2-804. Revocation of probate and nonprobate transfers by divorce; no revocation by other changes of circumstances
(1) Disposition or appointment of property made by a divorced individual to the divorced individual's former spouse in a governing instrument and any disposition or appointment created by law or in a governing instrument to a relative of the divorced individual's former spouse;
(2) Provision in a governing instrument conferring a general or nongeneral power of appointment on the divorced individual's former spouse or on a relative of the divorced individual's former spouse; and
(3) Nomination in a governing instrument nominating a divorced individual's former spouse or a relative of the divorced individual's former spouse to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including as a personal representative, executor, trustee, conservator, agent or guardian; and
§ 2-805. Reformation to correct mistakes
The court may reform the terms of a governing instrument, even if unambiguous, to conform the terms to the transferor's intention if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence what the transferor's intention was and that the terms of the governing instrument were affected by a mistake of fact or law, whether in expression or inducement.
§ 2-806. Modification to achieve transferor's tax objectives
To achieve the transferor's tax objectives, the court may modify the terms of a governing instrument in a manner that is not contrary to the transferor's probable intention. The court may provide that the modification has retroactive effect.
§ 2-807. Actions for wrongful death
UNIFORM DISCLAIMER OF PROPERTY INTERESTS ACT
§ 2-901. Short title
This Part may be known and cited as "the Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interests Act."
§ 2-902. Definitions
As used in this Part, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 2-903. Scope
This Part applies to disclaimers of any interest in or power over property, whenever created.
§ 2-904. Part supplemented by other law
§ 2-905. Power to disclaim; general requirements; when irrevocable
(1) Execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
(2) Attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic sound, symbol or process.
§ 2-906. Disclaimer of interest in property
(1) If the disclaimant is not an individual, the disclaimed interest passes as if the disclaimant did not exist.
(2) If the disclaimant is an individual, except as otherwise provided in subparagraphs (3) and (4), the disclaimed interest passes as if the disclaimant had died immediately before the time of distribution.
(3) If by law or under the instrument the descendants of the disclaimant would share in the disclaimed interest by any method of representation had the disclaimant died before the time of distribution, the disclaimed interest passes only to the descendants of the disclaimant who survive the time of distribution.
(4) If the disclaimed interest would pass to the disclaimant's estate had the disclaimant died before the time of distribution, the disclaimed interest instead passes by representation to the descendants of the disclaimant who survive the time of distribution. If no descendant of the disclaimant survives the time of distribution, the disclaimed interest passes to those persons, including the State but excluding the disclaimant, and in such shares as would succeed to the transferor's intestate estate under the intestate succession law of the transferor's domicile had the transferor died at the time of distribution. However, if the transferor's surviving spouse is living but is remarried at the time of distribution, the transferor is deemed to have died unmarried at the time of distribution.
§ 2-907. Disclaimer of rights of survivorship in jointly held property
§ 2-908. Disclaimer of interest by trustee
If a trustee disclaims an interest in property that otherwise would have become trust property, the interest does not become trust property.
§ 2-909. Disclaimer of power of appointment or other power not held in fiduciary capacity
If a holder disclaims a power of appointment or other power not held in a fiduciary capacity, the following provisions apply.
§ 2-910. Disclaimer by appointee, object or taker in default of exercise of power of appointment
§ 2-911. Disclaimer of power held in fiduciary capacity
§ 2-912. Delivery or filing
§ 2-913. When disclaimer barred or limited
§ 2-914. Tax qualified disclaimer
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Part, if as a result of a disclaimer or transfer the disclaimed or transferred interest is treated, pursuant to the provisions of 26 United States Code, as amended, or any successor statute, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as never having been transferred to the disclaimant, the disclaimer or transfer is effective as a disclaimer under this Part.
§ 2-915. Recording of disclaimer
If an instrument transferring an interest in or power over property subject to a disclaimer is required or permitted by law to be filed, recorded or registered, the disclaimer may be so filed, recorded or registered. Except as otherwise provided in section 2-912, subsection 7, paragraph B, failure to file, record or register the disclaimer does not affect its validity as between the disclaimant and persons to whom the property interest or power passes by reason of the disclaimer.
§ 2-916. Application to existing relationships
Except as otherwise provided in section 2-913, an interest in or power over property existing on July 1, 2019 as to which the time for delivering or filing a disclaimer under law superseded by this Part has not expired may be disclaimed after July 1, 2019.
§ 2-917. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
This Part modifies, limits and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 United States Code, Section 7001, et seq., but does not modify, limit or supersede Section 101(c) of that Act, 15 United States Code, Section 7001(c) or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that Act, 15 United States Code, Section 7003(b).
PROBATE OF WILLS AND ADMINISTRATION
§ 3-101. Devolution of estate at death; restrictions
The power of a person to leave property by will and the rights of creditors, devisees and heirs to the person's property are subject to the restrictions and limitations contained in this Code to facilitate the prompt settlement of estates. Upon the death of a person, the person's real and personal property devolves to the persons to whom it is devised by the person's last will or to those indicated as substitutes for them in cases involving lapse, renunciation or other circumstances affecting the devolution of testate estate or, in the absence of testamentary disposition, to the person's heirs, or to those indicated as substitutes for them in cases involving renunciation or other circumstances affecting devolution of intestate estates, subject to homestead allowance, exempt property and family allowance, to rights of creditors, to elective share of the surviving spouse and to administration.
§ 3-102. Necessity of order of probate for will
Except as provided in section 3-1201, to be effective to prove the transfer of any property or to nominate an executor, a will must be declared to be valid by an order of informal probate by the registers or an adjudication of probate by the court.
§ 3-103. Necessity of appointment for administration
Except as otherwise provided in Article 4, to acquire the powers and undertake the duties and liabilities of a personal representative of a decedent, a person must be appointed by order of the court or registers, qualify and be issued letters. Administration of an estate is commenced by the issuance of letters.
§ 3-104. Claims against decedent; necessity of administration
A proceeding to enforce a claim against the estate of a decedent or the decedent's successors may not be revived or commenced before the appointment of a personal representative. After the appointment and until distribution, all proceedings and actions to enforce a claim against the estate are governed by the procedure prescribed by this Article. After distribution, a creditor whose claim has not been barred may recover from the distributees as provided in section 3-1004 or from a former personal representative individually liable as provided in section 3-1005. This section has no application to a proceeding by a secured creditor of the decedent to enforce the creditor's right to the security except as to any deficiency judgment that might be sought.
§ 3-105. Proceedings affecting devolution and administration; jurisdiction of subject matter
Persons interested in decedents' estates may apply to the register for determination in the informal proceedings provided in this Article and may petition the court for orders in formal proceedings within the court's jurisdiction including but not limited to those described in this Article. The court has exclusive jurisdiction of formal proceedings to determine how decedents' estates subject to the laws of this State are to be administered, expended and distributed. The court has concurrent jurisdiction of any other action or proceeding concerning a succession or to which an estate, through a personal representative, may be a party, including actions to determine title to property alleged to belong to the estate, and of any action or proceeding in which property is distributed by a personal representative or its value is sought to be subjected to rights of creditors or successors of the decedent.
§ 3-106. Proceedings within the jurisdiction of court; service; jurisdiction over persons
In proceedings within the exclusive jurisdiction of the court where notice is required by this Code or by rule, and in proceedings to construe probated wills or determine heirs that concern estates that have not been and cannot now be opened for administration, interested persons may be bound by the orders of the court in respect to property in or subject to the laws of this State by notice in conformity with section 1-401. An order is binding on all who are given notice of the proceeding though fewer than all interested persons are notified.
§ 3-107. Scope of proceedings; proceedings independent; exception
Unless supervised administration as described in Part 5 is involved:
§ 3-108. Probate, testacy and appointment proceedings; ultimate time limit
§ 3-109. Statutes of limitation on decedent's cause of action
A statute of limitation running on a cause of action belonging to a decedent that had not been barred as of the date of death does not apply to bar a cause of action surviving the decedent's death sooner than 4 months after death. A cause of action that but for this section would have been barred less than 4 months after death is barred after 4 months unless tolled.
§ 3-110. Discovery of property
VENUE FOR PROBATE AND ADMINISTRATION, PRIORITY TO ADMINISTER AND DEMAND FOR NOTICE
§ 3-201. Venue for first and subsequent estate proceedings; location of property
§ 3-202. Appointment or testacy proceedings; conflicting claim of domicile in another state
If conflicting claims as to the domicile of a decedent are made in a formal testacy or appointment proceeding commenced in this State, and in a testacy or appointment proceeding after notice pending at the same time in another state, the court of this State must stay, dismiss or permit suitable amendment in the proceeding in this State unless it is determined that the proceeding in this State was commenced before the proceeding elsewhere. The determination of domicile in the proceeding first commenced must be accepted as determinative in the proceeding in this State.
§ 3-203. Priority among persons seeking appointment as personal representative
§ 3-204. Demand for notice of order or filing concerning decedent's estate
A person desiring notice of an order or filing pertaining to a decedent's estate in which the person has a financial or property interest may file a demand for notice with the court at any time after the death of the decedent, stating the name of the decedent, the nature of the demandant's interest in the estate and the demandant's address or that of the demandant's attorney. The register shall mail a copy of the demand to the personal representative, if one has been appointed. After filing of a demand, an order or filing to which the demand relates may not be made or accepted without notice as prescribed in section 1-401 to the demandant or the demandant's attorney. The validity of an order that is issued or filing that is accepted without compliance with this requirement is not affected by the error, but the petitioner receiving the order or the person making the filing is liable for any damage caused by the absence of notice. The requirement of notice arising from demand under this provision may be waived in writing by the demandant and ceases upon the termination of the demandant's interest in the estate.
INFORMAL PROBATE AND APPOINTMENT PROCEEDINGS
§ 3-301. Informal probate or appointment proceedings; application; contents
(1) A statement of the interest of the applicant;
(2) The name and date of death of the decedent, the decedent's age and the county and state of the decedent's domicile at the time of death and the names and addresses of the spouse, children, heirs and devisees and the ages of any who are minors so far as known or ascertainable with reasonable diligence by the applicant;
(3) If the decedent was not domiciled in the State at the time of death, a statement showing venue;
(4) A statement identifying and indicating the address of any personal representative of the decedent appointed in this State or elsewhere whose appointment has not been terminated;
(5) A statement indicating whether the applicant has received a demand for notice or is aware of any demand for notice of any probate or appointment proceeding concerning the decedent that may have been filed in this State or elsewhere; and
(6) A statement that the time limit for informal probate or appointment as provided in this Article has not expired either because 3 years or less have passed since the decedent's death or, if more than 3 years from death have passed, circumstances as described by section 3-108 have occurred authorizing tardy probate or appointment;
(1) That the original of the decedent's last will is in the possession of the court or accompanies the application or that an authenticated copy of a will probated in another jurisdiction accompanies the application;
(2) That the applicant, to the best of the applicant's knowledge, believes the will to have been validly executed; and
(3) That after the exercise of reasonable diligence, the applicant is unaware of any instrument revoking the will and that the applicant believes that the instrument that is the subject of the application is the decedent's last will;
(1) That after the exercise of reasonable diligence the applicant is unaware of any unrevoked testamentary instrument relating to property having a situs in this State under section 1-301 or a statement why any such instrument of which the applicant may be aware is not being probated; and
(2) The priority of the person whose appointment is sought and the names of any other persons having a prior or equal right to the appointment under section 3-203;
§ 3-302. Informal probate; duty of register; effect of informal probate
Upon receipt of an application requesting informal probate of a will, the register upon making the findings required by section 3-303 shall issue a written statement of informal probate if at least 120 hours have elapsed since the decedent's death. Informal probate is conclusive as to all persons until superseded by an order in a formal testacy proceeding. No defect in the application or procedure that leads to informal probate of a will renders the probate void.
§ 3-303. Informal probate; proof and findings required
§ 3-304. Informal probate; unavailable in certain cases
Applications for informal probate that relate to one or more of a known series of testamentary instruments, the latest of which does not expressly revoke the earlier, other than a will and one or more codicils thereto, must be declined.
§ 3-305. Informal probate; register not satisfied
If the register is not satisfied that a will is entitled to be probated in informal proceedings because of failure to meet the requirements of sections 3-303 and 3-304 or any other reason, the register may decline the application. A declination of informal probate is not an adjudication and does not preclude formal probate proceedings.
§ 3-306. Informal probate; notice requirements
The moving party shall give notice as described by section 1-401 of the moving party's application for informal probate to any person demanding notice pursuant to section 3-204 and to any personal representative of the decedent whose appointment has not been terminated. If the decedent was 55 years of age or older, the moving party shall give notice as described in section 1-401 to the Department of Health and Human Services. Except as provided in section 3-705, no other notice of informal probate is required.
§ 3-307. Informal appointment proceedings; delay in order; duty of register; effect of appointment
§ 3-308. Informal appointment proceedings; proof and findings required
§ 3-309. Informal appointment proceedings; register not satisfied
If the register is not satisfied that a requested informal appointment of a personal representative should be made because of failure to meet the requirements of sections 3-307 and 3-308, or for any other reason, the register may decline the application. A declination of informal appointment is not an adjudication and does not preclude appointment in formal proceedings.
§ 3-310. Informal appointment proceedings; notice requirements
The moving party shall give notice as described by section 1-401 of the moving party's intention to seek an appointment informally to any person demanding notice pursuant to section 3-204 and to any person having a prior or equal right to appointment not waived in writing and filed with the court. If the decedent was 55 years of age or older, the moving party shall give notice as described in section 1-401 to the Department of Health and Human Services. No other notice of an informal appointment proceeding is required.
§ 3-311. Informal appointment unavailable in certain cases
If an application for informal appointment indicates the existence of a possible unrevoked testamentary instrument that may relate to property subject to the laws of this State and that is not filed for probate in the court, the register must decline the application.
FORMAL TESTACY AND APPOINTMENT PROCEEDINGS
§ 3-401. Formal testacy proceedings; nature; when commenced
A formal testacy proceeding is litigation to determine whether a decedent left a valid will. A formal testacy proceeding may be commenced by an interested person filing a petition as described in section 3-402, subsection 1 in which the petitioner requests that the court, after notice and hearing, enter an order probating a will, or a petition to set aside an informal probate of a will or to prevent informal probate of a will that is the subject of a pending application, or a petition in accordance with section 3-402, subsection 2 for an order that the decedent died intestate.
A petition may seek formal probate of a will without regard to whether the same or a conflicting will has been informally probated. A formal testacy proceeding may, but need not, involve a request for appointment of a personal representative.
During the pendency of a formal testacy proceeding, the register may not act upon any application for informal probate of any will of the decedent or any application for informal appointment of a personal representative of the decedent.
Unless a petition in a formal testacy proceeding also requests confirmation of the previous informal appointment, a previously appointed personal representative, after receipt of notice of the commencement of a formal probate proceeding, must refrain from making any further distribution of the estate during the pendency of the formal proceeding. A petitioner who seeks the appointment of a different personal representative in a formal proceeding also may request an order restraining the acting personal representative from exercising any of the powers of the office and requesting the appointment of a special administrator. In the absence of a request, or if the request is denied, the commencement of a formal proceeding has no effect on the powers and duties of a previously appointed personal representative other than those relating to distribution.
§ 3-402. Formal testacy or appointment proceedings; petition; contents
If the original will is neither in the possession of the court nor accompanies the petition and no authenticated copy of a will probated in another jurisdiction accompanies the petition, the petition also must state the contents of the will and indicate that it is lost, destroyed or otherwise unavailable.
§ 3-403. Formal testacy proceeding; notice of hearing on petition
Notice must be given to the following persons: the surviving spouse, children and other heirs of the decedent, the devisees and executors named in any will that is being, or has been, probated or offered for informal or formal probate in the county or that is known by the petitioner to have been probated or offered for informal or formal probate elsewhere and any personal representative of the decedent whose appointment has not been terminated. If the decedent was 55 years of age or older, the petitioner shall give notice as described in section 1-401 to the Department of Health and Human Services. Notice may be given to other persons. In addition, the petitioner shall give notice by publication to all unknown persons and to all known persons whose addresses are unknown who have any interest in the matters being litigated.
§ 3-404. Formal testacy proceedings; written objections to probate
Any party to a formal proceeding who opposes the probate of a will for any reason shall state in that party's pleadings that party's objections to probate of the will.
§ 3-405. Formal testacy proceedings; uncontested cases; hearings and proof
If a petition in a testacy proceeding is unopposed, the court may order probate or intestacy on the strength of the pleadings if satisfied that the conditions of section 3-409 have been met or conduct a hearing in open court and require proof of the matters necessary to support the order sought. If evidence concerning execution of the will is necessary, the affidavit or testimony of one of any attesting witnesses to the instrument is sufficient. If the affidavit or testimony of an attesting witness is not available, execution of the will may be proved by other evidence or affidavit.
§ 3-406. Formal testacy proceedings; contested cases
In a contested case in which the proper execution of a will is at issue:
§ 3-407. Formal testacy proceedings; burdens in contested cases
In contested cases, petitioners who seek to establish intestacy have the burden of establishing prima facie proof of death, venue and heirship. Proponents of a will have the burden of establishing prima facie proof of due execution in all cases and, if they are also petitioners, prima facie proof of death and venue. Contestants of a will have the burden of establishing lack of testamentary intent or capacity, undue influence, fraud, duress, mistake or revocation. Parties have the ultimate burden of persuasion as to matters with respect to which they have the initial burden of proof. If a will is opposed by the petition for probate of a later will revoking the former, it must be determined first whether the later will is entitled to probate, and if a will is opposed by a petition for a declaration of intestacy, it must be determined first whether the will is entitled to probate.
§ 3-408. Formal testacy proceedings; will construction; effect of final order in another jurisdiction
A final order of a court of another state determining testacy or the validity or construction of a will made in a proceeding involving notice to and an opportunity for contest by all interested persons must be accepted as determinative by the courts of this State if it includes or is based upon a finding that the decedent at death was domiciled in the state where the order was made.
§ 3-409. Formal testacy proceedings; order; foreign will
After the time required for any notice has expired, upon proof of notice, and after any hearing that may be necessary, if the court finds that the testator is dead, venue is proper and that the proceeding was commenced within the limitation prescribed by section 3-108, the court shall determine the decedent's domicile at death, heirs and state of testacy. Any will found to be valid and unrevoked must be formally probated. Termination of any previous informal appointment of a personal representative, which may be appropriate in view of the relief requested and findings, is governed by section 3-612. The petition must be dismissed or appropriate amendment allowed if the court is not satisfied that the alleged decedent is dead. A will from a foreign jurisdiction, including a place that does not provide for probate of a will after death, may be proved for probate in this State by a duly authenticated certificate of its legal custodian that the copy introduced is a true copy and that the will has become effective under the law of the other place.
§ 3-410. Formal testacy proceedings; probate of more than one instrument
If 2 or more instruments are offered for probate before a final order is entered in a formal testacy proceeding, more than one instrument may be probated if neither expressly revokes the other or contains provisions that work a total revocation by implication. If more than one instrument is probated, the order must indicate what provisions control in respect to the nomination of an executor, if any. The order may, but need not, indicate how any provisions of a particular instrument are affected by the other instrument. After a final order in a testacy proceeding has been entered, no petition for probate of any other instrument of the decedent may be entertained, except incident to a petition to vacate or modify a previous probate order and subject to the time limits of section 3-412.
§ 3-411. Formal testacy proceedings; partial intestacy
If it becomes evident in the course of a formal testacy proceeding that, though one or more instruments are entitled to be probated, the decedent's estate is or may be partially intestate, the court shall enter an order to that effect.
§ 3-412. Formal testacy proceedings; effect of order; vacation
Subject to appeal and subject to vacation as provided in this section and in section 3-413, a formal testacy order under sections 3-409 to 3-411, including an order that the decedent left no valid will and determining heirs, is final as to all persons with respect to all issues concerning the decedent's estate that the court considered or might have considered incident to its rendition relevant to the question of whether the decedent left a valid will and to the determination of heirs, except that:
If the alleged decedent is not dead, even if notice was sent and search was made, the alleged decedent may recover estate assets in the hands of the personal representative. In addition to any remedies available to the alleged decedent by reason of any fraud or intentional wrongdoing, the alleged decedent may recover any estate or its proceeds from distributees that is in their hands, or the value of distributions received by them, to the extent that any recovery from distributees is equitable in view of all of the circumstances.
§ 3-413. Formal testacy proceedings; vacation of order for other cause
For good cause shown, an order in a formal testacy proceeding may be modified or vacated within the time allowed for appeal.
§ 3-414. Formal proceedings concerning appointment of personal representative
§ 3-501. Supervised administration; nature of proceeding
Supervised administration is a single in rem proceeding to secure complete administration and settlement of a decedent's estate under the continuing authority of the court that extends until entry of an order approving distribution of the estate and discharging the personal representative or other order terminating the proceeding. A supervised personal representative is responsible to the court, as well as to the interested parties, and is subject to directions concerning the estate made by the court on its own motion or on the motion of any interested party. Except as otherwise provided in this Part, or as otherwise ordered by the court, a supervised personal representative has the same duties and powers as a personal representative who is not supervised.
§ 3-502. Supervised administration; petition; order
A petition for supervised administration may be filed by any interested person or by a personal representative at any time or the prayer for supervised administration may be joined with a petition in a testacy or appointment proceeding. If the testacy of the decedent and the priority and qualification of any personal representative have not been adjudicated previously, the petition for supervised administration must include the matters required of a petition in a formal testacy proceeding and the notice requirements and procedures applicable to a formal testacy proceeding apply. If not previously adjudicated, the court shall adjudicate the testacy of the decedent and questions relating to the priority and qualifications of the personal representative in any case involving a request for supervised administration, even though the request for supervised administration may be denied. After notice to interested persons:
§ 3-503. Supervised administration; effect on other proceedings
§ 3-504. Supervised administration; powers of personal representative
Unless restricted by the court, a supervised personal representative has, without interim orders approving exercise of a power, all powers of personal representatives under this Code, but the personal representative may not exercise the power to make any distribution of the estate without prior order of the court. Any other restriction on the power of a personal representative that is ordered by the court must be endorsed on the personal representative's letters of appointment and, unless so endorsed, is ineffective as to persons dealing in good faith with the personal representative.
§ 3-505. Supervised administration; interim orders; distribution and closing orders
Unless otherwise ordered by the court, supervised administration is terminated by order in accordance with time restrictions, notices and contents of orders prescribed for proceedings under section 3-1001. Interim orders approving or directing partial distributions or granting other relief may be issued by the court at any time during the pendency of a supervised administration on the application of the personal representative or any interested person.
PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE: APPOINTMENT, CONTROL AND TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY
§ 3-601. Qualification
Prior to receiving letters, a personal representative must qualify by filing with the appointing court any required bond and a statement of acceptance of the duties of the office.
§ 3-602. Acceptance of appointment; consent to jurisdiction
By accepting appointment, a personal representative submits personally to the jurisdiction of the court in any proceeding relating to the estate that may be instituted by any interested person. Notice of any proceeding must be delivered to the personal representative, or mailed to the personal representative by ordinary first class mail at the address listed in the application or petition for appointment or as thereafter reported to the court and to the personal representative's address as then known to the petitioner.
§ 3-603. Bond not required without court order; exceptions
Bond is not required of a personal representative appointed in informal proceedings, except upon the appointment of a special administrator, when an executor or other personal representative is appointed to administer an estate under a will containing an express requirement of bond or when bond is required under section 3-605. Bond may be required by court order at the time of appointment of a personal representative appointed in any formal proceeding except that bond is not required of a personal representative appointed in formal proceedings if the will relieves the personal representative of bond, unless bond has been requested by an interested party and the court is satisfied that it is desirable, or as provided in section 3-619, subsection 7. Bond required by any will or under this section may be dispensed with in formal proceedings upon determination by the court that it is not necessary. Bond is not required of any personal representative who, pursuant to statute, has deposited cash or collateral with an agency of this State to secure performance of the personal representative's duties.
§ 3-604. Bond amount; security; procedure; reduction
If bond is required and the provisions of the will or order do not specify the amount, unless stated in the application or petition, the person qualifying shall file a statement under oath with the register indicating that person's best estimate of the value of the personal estate of the decedent and of the income expected from the personal and real estate during the next year, and that person shall execute and file a bond with the register, or give other suitable security, in an amount not less than the estimate. The register shall determine that the bond is duly executed by a corporate surety, or one or more individual sureties whose performance is secured by pledge of personal property, mortgage on real property or other adequate security. The register may permit the amount of the bond to be reduced by the value of assets of the estate deposited with a domestic financial institution, as defined in section 6-201, subsection 4, in a manner that prevents their unauthorized disposition. On petition of the personal representative or another interested person the court may excuse a requirement of bond, increase or reduce the amount of the bond, release sureties or permit the substitution of another bond with the same or different sureties.
§ 3-605. Demand for bond by interested person
Any person apparently having an interest in the estate worth in excess of $5,000, or any creditor having a claim in excess of $5,000, may make a written demand that a personal representative give bond. The demand must be filed with the register and a copy mailed to the personal representative, if appointment and qualification have occurred. Thereupon, bond is required, but the requirement ceases if the person demanding bond ceases to be interested in the estate or if bond is excused as provided in section 3-603 or 3-604. After the personal representative has received notice and until the filing of the bond or cessation of the requirement of bond, the personal representative shall refrain from exercising any powers of the personal representative's office except as necessary to preserve the estate. Failure of the personal representative to meet a requirement of bond by giving suitable bond within 30 days after receipt of notice is cause for the personal representative's removal and appointment of a successor personal representative.
§ 3-606. Terms and conditions of bonds
§ 3-607. Order restraining personal representative
§ 3-608. Termination of appointment; general
Termination of appointment of a personal representative occurs as indicated in sections 3-609 to 3-612. Termination ends the right and power pertaining to the office of personal representative as conferred by this Code or any will, except that a personal representative, at any time prior to distribution or until restrained or enjoined by court order, may perform acts necessary to protect the estate and may deliver the assets to a successor representative. Termination does not discharge a personal representative from liability for transactions or omissions occurring before termination, or relieve the personal representative of the duty to preserve assets subject to the personal representative's control and to account for and to deliver the assets. Termination does not affect the jurisdiction of the court over the personal representative, but terminates the personal representative's authority to represent the estate in any pending or future proceeding.
§ 3-609. Termination of appointment; death or disability
The death of a personal representative or the appointment of a conservator for the estate of a personal representative terminates the personal representative's appointment. Until appointment and qualification of a successor or special personal representative to replace the deceased or protected personal representative, the personal representative of the estate of the deceased or protected personal representative, if any, has the duty to protect the estate possessed and being administered by the personal representative's decedent or ward at the time the personal representative's appointment terminates, has the power to perform acts necessary for protection and shall account for and deliver the estate assets to a successor or special personal representative upon the successor personal representative's appointment and qualification.
§ 3-610. Termination of appointment; voluntary
§ 3-611. Termination of appointment by removal; cause; procedure
§ 3-612. Termination of appointment; change of testacy status
Except as otherwise ordered in formal proceedings, the probate of a will subsequent to the appointment of a personal representative in intestacy or under a will that is superseded by formal probate of another will, or the vacation of an informal probate of a will subsequent to the appointment of the personal representative under the will, does not terminate the appointment of the personal representative although the personal representative's powers may be reduced as provided in section 3-401. Termination occurs upon appointment in informal or formal appointment proceedings of a person entitled to appointment under the later assumption concerning testacy. If no request for new appointment is made within 30 days after expiration of time for appeal from the order in formal testacy proceedings, or from the informal probate, changing the assumption concerning testacy, the previously appointed personal representative upon request may be appointed personal representative under the subsequently probated will, or as in intestacy as the case may be.
§ 3-613. Successor personal representative
Parts 3 and 4 of this Article govern proceedings for appointment of a personal representative to succeed a personal representative whose appointment has been terminated. After appointment and qualification, a successor personal representative may be substituted in all actions and proceedings to which the former personal representative was a party, and no notice, process or claim that was given or served upon the former personal representative need be given to or served upon the successor in order to preserve any position or right the person giving the notice or filing the claim may thereby have obtained or preserved with reference to the former personal representative. Except as otherwise ordered by the court, the successor personal representative has the powers and duties in respect to the continued administration that the former personal representative would have had if the appointment had not been terminated.
§ 3-614. Special administrator; appointment
A special administrator may be appointed:
§ 3-615. Special administrator; who may be appointed
§ 3-616. Special administrator; appointed informally; powers and duties
A special administrator appointed by the register in informal proceedings pursuant to section 3-614, subsection 1 has the duty to collect and manage the assets of the estate, to preserve them, to account for them and to deliver them to the general personal representative upon the general personal representative's qualification. The special administrator has the power of a personal representative under the Code necessary to perform the special administrator's duties.
§ 3-617. Special administrator; formal proceedings; power and duties
A special administrator appointed by order of the court in any formal proceeding has the power of a general personal representative except as limited in the appointment and duties as prescribed in the order. The appointment may be for a specified time, to perform particular acts or on other terms as the court may direct.
§ 3-618. Termination of appointment; special administrator
The appointment of a special administrator terminates in accordance with the provisions of the order of appointment or on the appointment of a general personal representative. In other cases, the appointment of a special administrator is subject to termination as provided in sections 3-608 to 3-611.
§ 3-619. Public administrators
DUTIES AND POWERS OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES
§ 3-701. Time of accrual of duties and powers
The duties and powers of a personal representative commence upon appointment. The powers of a personal representative relate back in time to give acts by the person appointed that are beneficial to the estate occurring prior to appointment the same effect as those occurring after appointment. Subject to the priorities of Title 22, section 2843-A, prior to appointment, a person named executor in a will may carry out written instructions of the decedent relating to the decedent's body, funeral and burial arrangements. A personal representative may ratify and accept acts on behalf of the estate done by others where the acts would have been proper for a personal representative.
§ 3-702. Priority among different letters
A person to whom general letters are first issued has exclusive authority under the letters until that person's appointment is terminated or modified. If through error general letters are later issued to another, the first appointed representative may recover any property of the estate in the hands of the representative subsequently appointed, but the acts of the latter done in good faith before notice of the first letters are not void for want of validity of appointment.
§ 3-703. General duties; relation and liability to persons interested in estate; standing to sue
§ 3-704. Personal representative to proceed without court order; exception
A personal representative shall proceed expeditiously with the settlement and distribution of a decedent's estate and, except as otherwise specified or ordered in regard to a supervised personal representative, do so without adjudication, order or direction of the court, but the personal representative may invoke the jurisdiction of the court in proceedings authorized by this Code to resolve questions concerning the estate or its administration.
§ 3-705. Duty of personal representative; information to heirs and devisees
Not later than 30 days after appointment every personal representative, except any special administrator, shall give information of the appointment to the heirs and devisees, including, if there has been no formal testacy proceeding and if the personal representative was appointed on the assumption that the decedent died intestate, the devisees in any will mentioned in the application for appointment of a personal representative. The information must be delivered or sent by ordinary mail to each of the heirs and devisees whose address is reasonably available to the personal representative. The duty does not extend to require information to persons who have been adjudicated in a prior formal testacy proceeding to have no interest in the estate. The information must include a statement that the estate is being administered by the personal representative under the Code without supervision by the court but that recipients are entitled to information regarding the administration from the personal representative and may petition the court in any matter relating to the estate, including distribution of assets and expenses of administration. The information must include the name and address of the personal representative, indicate that it is being sent to persons who have or may have some interest in the estate being administered, indicate whether bond has been filed and describe the court where papers relating to the estate are on file. The personal representative's failure to give this information is a breach of duty to the persons concerned but does not affect the validity of the personal representative's appointment, powers or other duties. A personal representative may inform other persons of the personal representative's appointment by delivery or ordinary first class mail.
§ 3-706. Duty of personal representative; inventory and appraisal
§ 3-707. Employment of appraisers
The personal representative may employ a qualified and disinterested appraiser to assist in ascertaining the fair market value as of the date of the decedent's death of any asset the value of which may be subject to reasonable doubt. Different persons may be employed to appraise different kinds of assets included in the estate. The names and addresses of any appraiser must be indicated on the inventory with the item or items appraised.
§ 3-708. Duty of personal representative; supplementary inventory
If any property not included in the original inventory comes to the knowledge of a personal representative or if the personal representative learns that the value or description indicated in the original inventory for any item is erroneous or misleading, the personal representative shall make a supplementary inventory or appraisement showing the market value as of the date of the decedent's death of the new item or the revised market value or descriptions, and the appraisers or other data relied upon, if any, and file the supplementary inventory or appraisement with the court or mail or furnish copies of the supplementary inventory or appraisement or information about the supplementary inventory or appraisement to persons interested in the new information.
§ 3-709. Duty of personal representative; possession of estate
Except as otherwise provided by a decedent's will, every personal representative has a right to and shall take possession or control of the decedent's property, except that any real property or tangible personal property may be left with or surrendered to the person presumptively entitled to it until, in the judgment of the personal representative, possession of the property by the personal representative will be necessary for purposes of administration. The request by a personal representative for delivery of any property possessed by an heir or devisee is conclusive evidence in any action against the heir or devisee for possession of the property that the possession of the property by the personal representative is necessary for purposes of administration. The personal representative shall pay taxes on and take all steps reasonably necessary for the management, protection and preservation of the estate in the personal representative's possession. The personal representative may maintain an action to recover possession of property or to determine the title of the property.
§ 3-710. Power to avoid transfers
The property liable for the payment of unsecured debts of a decedent includes all property transferred by the decedent by any means that is in law void or voidable as against the decedent's creditors, and, subject to prior liens, the right to recover this property, so far as necessary for the payment of unsecured debts of the decedent, is exclusively in the personal representative. The personal representative is not required to institute such an action unless requested by creditors, who must pay or secure the cost and expenses of litigation.
§ 3-711. Powers of personal representatives; in general
Until termination of the personal representative's appointment, a personal representative has the same power over the title to property of the estate that an absolute owner would have, in trust however, for the benefit of the creditors and others interested in the estate. This power may be exercised without notice, hearing or order of court, except as limited by this section. The personal representative may not sell or transfer any interest in real property of the estate without giving notice at least 10 days prior to that sale or transfer to any person succeeding to an interest in that property, unless the personal representative is authorized under the will to sell or transfer real estate without this notice.
§ 3-712. Improper exercise of power; breach of fiduciary duty
If the exercise of power concerning the estate is improper, the personal representative is liable to interested persons for damage or loss resulting from breach of the personal representative's fiduciary duty to the same extent as a trustee of an express trust. The rights of purchasers and others dealing with a personal representative must be determined as provided in sections 3-713 and 3-714.
§ 3-713. Sale, encumbrance or transaction involving conflict of interest; voidable; exceptions
Any sale or encumbrance to the personal representative, the personal representative's spouse, agent or attorney, or any corporation or trust in which the personal representative has a substantial beneficial interest, or any transaction that is affected by a substantial conflict of interest on the part of the personal representative, is voidable by any person interested in the estate except a person who has consented after fair disclosure, unless:
§ 3-714. Persons dealing with personal representative; protection
A person who in good faith either assists a personal representative or deals with the personal representative for value is protected as if the personal representative's power was properly exercised. The fact that a person knowingly deals with a personal representative does not alone require the person to inquire into the existence of a power or the propriety of its exercise. Except for restrictions on powers of supervised personal representatives that are endorsed on letters as provided in section 3-504, no provision in any will or order of court purporting to limit the power of a personal representative is effective except as to persons with actual knowledge. A person is not bound to see to the proper application of estate assets paid or delivered to a personal representative. The protection in this section extends to instances in which some procedural irregularity or jurisdictional defect occurred in proceedings leading to the issuance of letters, including a case in which the alleged decedent is found to be alive. The protection in this section is not by substitution for that provided by comparable provisions of the laws relating to commercial transactions and laws simplifying transfers of securities by fiduciaries.
§ 3-715. Transactions authorized for personal representatives; exceptions
Except as restricted or otherwise provided by the will or by an order in a formal proceeding and subject to the priorities stated in section 3-902, a personal representative, acting reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons, may properly:
§ 3-716. Powers and duties of successor personal representative
A successor personal representative has the same power and duty as the original personal representative to complete the administration and distribution of the estate, as expeditiously as possible, but the successor personal representative may not exercise any power expressly made personal to the executor named in the will.
§ 3-717. Corepresentatives; when joint action required
If 2 or more persons are appointed corepresentatives and unless the will provides otherwise, the concurrence of all is required on all acts connected with the administration and distribution of the estate. This restriction does not apply when any corepresentative receives and receipts for property due the estate, when the concurrence of all cannot readily be obtained in the time reasonably available for emergency action necessary to preserve the estate or when a corepresentative has been delegated to act for the others. Persons dealing with a corepresentative if actually unaware that another has been appointed to serve with that corepresentative or if advised by the personal representative with whom they deal that the personal representative has authority to act alone for any of the reasons mentioned in this section are as fully protected as if the person with whom they dealt had been the sole personal representative.
§ 3-718. Powers of surviving personal representative
Unless the terms of the will otherwise provide, every power exercisable by personal corepresentatives may be exercised by the one or more remaining after the appointment of one or more is terminated, and if one of 2 or more nominated as coexecutors is not appointed, those appointed may exercise all the powers incident to the office.
§ 3-719. Compensation of personal representative
A personal representative is entitled to reasonable compensation for the personal representative's services. If a will provides for compensation of the personal representative and there is no contract with the decedent regarding compensation, the personal representative may renounce the provision before qualifying and be entitled to reasonable compensation. A personal representative also may renounce the personal representative's right to all or any part of the compensation. A written renunciation of fee may be filed with the court.
§ 3-720. Expenses in estate litigation
If any personal representative or person nominated as personal representative defends or prosecutes any proceeding in good faith, whether successful or not, the personal representative or nominee is entitled to receive from the estate necessary expenses and disbursements including reasonable attorney's fees incurred.
§ 3-721. Proceedings for review of employment of agents and compensation of personal representatives and employees of estate
§ 3-801. Notice to creditors
§ 3-802. Statutes of limitations
§ 3-803. Limitations on presentation of claims
§ 3-804. Manner of presentation of claims
Claims against a decedent's estate may be presented as described in this section.
§ 3-805. Classification of claims
§ 3-806. Allowance of claims
§ 3-807. Payment of claims
§ 3-808. Individual liability of personal representative
§ 3-809. Secured claims
Payment of a secured claim is upon the basis of the amount allowed if the creditor surrenders the creditor's security; otherwise payment is upon the basis of one of the following:
§ 3-810. Claims not due and contingent or unliquidated claims
§ 3-811. Counterclaims
In allowing a claim the personal representative may deduct any counterclaim that the estate has against the claimant. In determining a claim against an estate a court shall reduce the amount allowed by the amount of any counterclaims and, if the counterclaims exceed the claim, render a judgment against the claimant in the amount of the excess. A counterclaim, liquidated or unliquidated, may arise from a transaction other than that upon which the claim is based. A counterclaim may give rise to relief exceeding in amount or different in kind from that sought in the claim.
§ 3-812. Execution and levies prohibited
No execution may issue upon nor may any levy be made against any property of the estate under any judgment against a decedent or a personal representative, but this section may not be construed to prevent the enforcement of mortgages, pledges or liens upon real or personal property in an appropriate proceeding.
§ 3-813. Compromise of claims
When a claim against the estate has been presented in any manner, the personal representative may, if it appears for the best interest of the estate, compromise the claim, whether due or not due, absolute or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated.
§ 3-814. Encumbered assets
If any assets of the estate are encumbered by mortgage, pledge, lien or other security interest, the personal representative may pay the encumbrance or any part of the encumbrance, renew or extend any obligation secured by the encumbrance or convey or transfer the assets to the creditor in satisfaction of the lien, in whole or in part, whether or not the holder of the encumbrance has presented a claim, if it appears to be for the best interest of the estate. Payment of an encumbrance does not increase the share of the distributee entitled to the encumbered assets unless the distributee is entitled to exoneration.
§ 3-815. Administration in more than one state; duty of personal representative
§ 3-816. Final distribution to domiciliary representative
The estate of a nonresident decedent being administered by a personal representative appointed in this State must, if there is a personal representative of the decedent's domicile willing to receive it, be distributed to the domiciliary personal representative for the benefit of the successors of the decedent unless:
In other cases, distribution of the estate of a decedent must be made in accordance with the other Parts of this Article.
§ 3-817. Survival of actions
§ 3-818. Damages limited to actual damages
In any tort action against the personal representative of a decedent's estate, in the personal representative's representative capacity, the plaintiff may recover only the value of the goods taken or damage actually sustained.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO DISTRIBUTION
§ 3-901. Successors' rights if no administration
In the absence of administration, the heirs and devisees are entitled to the estate in accordance with the terms of a probated will or the laws of intestate succession. Devisees may establish title by the probated will to devised property. Persons entitled to property by homestead allowance, exemption or intestacy may establish title by proof of the decedent's ownership and death and their relationship to the decedent. Successors take subject to all charges incident to administration, including the claims of creditors and allowances of surviving spouse and dependent children, and subject to the rights of others resulting from abatement, retainer, advancement and ademption.
§ 3-902. Distribution; order in which assets appropriated; abatement
§ 3-903. Right of retainer
The amount of a noncontingent indebtedness of a successor to the estate if due, or its present value if not due, must be offset against the successor's interest, but the successor has the benefit of any defense that would be available to the debtor in a direct proceeding for recovery of the debt. The debt constitutes a lien on the successor's interest in favor of the estate, having priority over any attachment or transfer of the interest by the successor.
§ 3-904. Interest on general pecuniary devise
General pecuniary devises bear interest at the legal rate of 5% per year beginning one year after the first appointment of a personal representative until payment, unless a contrary intent is indicated in the will.
§ 3-905. Penalty clause for contest
A provision in a will purporting to penalize any interested person for contesting the will or instituting other proceedings relating to the estate is unenforceable if probable cause exists for instituting proceedings.
§ 3-906. Distribution in kind; valuation; method
(1) The person entitled to the payment has not demanded payment in cash;
(2) The property distributed in kind is valued at fair market value as of the date of its distribution; and
(3) No residuary devisee has requested that the asset to be distributed remain a part of the residue of the estate or, if a residuary devisee has requested that the asset to be distributed remain a part of the residue of the estate, there are insufficient other assets to which no residuary devisee has made such a request to permit satisfaction of the estate's obligations and funding of all pecuniary devises made under the decedent's will.
§ 3-907. Distribution in kind; evidence
If distribution in kind is made, the personal representative shall execute an instrument or deed of distribution assigning, transferring or releasing the assets to the distributee as evidence of the distributee's title to the property.
§ 3-908. Distribution; right or title of distributee
Proof that a distributee has received an instrument or deed of distribution of assets in kind, or payment in distribution, from a personal representative, is conclusive evidence that the distributee has succeeded to the interest of the estate in the distributed assets, as against all persons interested in the estate, except that the personal representative may recover the assets or their value if the distribution was improper.
§ 3-909. Improper distribution; liability of distributee
Unless the distribution or payment no longer can be questioned because of adjudication, estoppel or limitation, a distributee of property improperly distributed or paid, or a claimant who was improperly paid, is liable to return the property improperly received and its income since distribution if the distributee or claimant has the property. If the distributee or claimant does not have the property, then the distributee or claimant is liable to return the value as of the date of disposition of the property improperly received and income and gain received by the distributee or claimant.
§ 3-910. Purchasers from distributees protected
If property distributed in kind or a security interest in the property is acquired for value by a purchaser from or lender to a distributee who has received an instrument or deed of distribution from the personal representative, or is acquired by a purchaser from or lender to a transferee from a distributee, the purchaser or lender takes title free of rights of any interested person in the estate and incurs no personal liability to the estate, or to any interested person, whether or not the distribution was proper or supported by court order or the authority of the personal representative was terminated before execution of the instrument or deed. This section protects a purchaser from or lender to a distributee who, as personal representative, has executed a deed of distribution to the personal representative, as well as a purchaser from or lender to any other distributee or transferee. To be protected under this provision, a purchaser or lender need not inquire whether a personal representative acted properly in making the distribution in kind, even if the personal representative and the distributee are the same person, or whether the authority of the personal representative had terminated before the distribution. Any recorded instrument described in this section on which the register of deeds notes by an appropriate stamp "Maine Real Estate Transfer Tax Paid" is prima facie evidence that the transfer was made for value.
§ 3-911. Partition for purpose of distribution
When 2 or more heirs or devisees are entitled to distribution of undivided interests in any real or personal property of the estate, the personal representative or one or more of the heirs or devisees may petition the court prior to the formal or informal closing of the estate to make partition. After notice to the interested heirs or devisees, the court shall partition the property in the same manner as provided by the law for civil actions of partition. The court may direct the personal representative to sell any property that cannot be partitioned without prejudice to the owners and that cannot conveniently be allotted to any one party.
§ 3-912. Private agreements among successors to decedent binding on personal representative
Subject to the rights of creditors and taxing authorities, competent successors may agree among themselves to alter the interests, shares or amounts to which they are entitled under the will of the decedent, or under the laws of intestacy, in any way that they provide in a written contract executed by all who are affected by its provisions. The personal representative shall abide by the terms of the agreement subject to the personal representative's obligation to administer the estate for the benefit of creditors, to pay all taxes and costs of administration and to carry out the responsibilities of the office for the benefit of any successors of the decedent who are not parties. Personal representatives of decedents' estates are not required to see to the performance of trusts if the trustee of such a trust is another person who is willing to accept the trust. Accordingly, trustees of a testamentary trust are successors for the purposes of this section. Nothing in this section relieves trustees of any duties owed to beneficiaries of trusts.
§ 3-913. Distributions to trustee
§ 3-914. Disposition of unclaimed assets
If an heir, devisee or claimant cannot be found, the personal representative shall distribute the share of the missing person to the person's conservator, if any; otherwise it must be disposed of according to Title 33, chapter 41.
§ 3-915. Distribution to person under disability
Persons receiving money or property for the person with a disability are obligated to apply the money or property to the support of that person, but may not pay themselves except by way of reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for goods and services necessary for the support of the person with a disability. Excess sums must be preserved for future support of the person with a disability. The personal representative is not responsible for the proper application of money or property distributed pursuant to this subsection.
§ 3-916. Uniform Estate Tax Apportionment Act
(1) Any claim or expense allowable as a deduction for purposes of the tax;
(2) The value of any interest in property that, for purposes of the tax, qualifies for a marital or charitable deduction or otherwise is deductible or is exempt; and
(3) Any amount added to the decedent's gross estate because of a gift tax on transfers made before death.
(1) To the extent that a provision of a decedent's will expressly and unambiguously directs the apportionment of an estate tax, the tax must be apportioned accordingly;
(2) Any portion of an estate tax not apportioned pursuant to subparagraph (1) must be apportioned in accordance with any provision of a revocable trust of which the decedent was the settlor that expressly and unambiguously directs the apportionment of an estate tax. If conflicting apportionment provisions appear in 2 or more revocable trust instruments, the provision in the most recently dated instrument prevails. For purposes of this subparagraph:
(a) A trust is revocable if it was revocable immediately after the trust instrument was executed, even if the trust subsequently becomes irrevocable; and
(b) The date of an amendment to a revocable trust instrument is the date of the amended instrument only if the amendment contains an apportionment provision; and
(3) If any portion of an estate tax is not apportioned pursuant to subparagraph (1) or (2), and a provision in any other dispositive instrument expressly and unambiguously directs that any interest in the property disposed of by the instrument is or is not to be applied to the payment of the estate tax attributable to the interest disposed of by the instrument, the provision controls the apportionment of the tax to that interest.
(1) If an apportionment provision directs that a person receiving an interest in property under an instrument is to be exonerated from the responsibility to pay an estate tax that would otherwise be apportioned to the interest:
(a) The tax attributable to the exonerated interest must be apportioned among the other persons receiving interests passing under the instrument; or
(b) If the values of the other interests are less than the tax attributable to the exonerated interest, the deficiency must be apportioned ratably among the other persons receiving interests in the apportionable estate that are not exonerated from apportionment of the tax;
(2) If an apportionment provision directs that an estate tax is to be apportioned to an interest in property a portion of which qualifies for a marital or charitable deduction, the estate tax must first be apportioned ratably among the holders of the portion that does not qualify for a marital or charitable deduction and then apportioned ratably among the holders of the deductible portion to the extent that the value of the nondeductible portion is insufficient;
(3) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (4), if an apportionment provision directs that an estate tax be apportioned to property in which one or more time-limited interests exist, other than interests in specified property under subsection 7, the tax must be apportioned to the principal of that property, regardless of the deductibility of some of the interests in that property; and
(4) If an apportionment provision directs that an estate tax is to be apportioned to the holders of interests in property in which one or more time-limited interests exist and a charity has an interest that otherwise qualifies for an estate tax charitable deduction, the tax must first be apportioned, to the extent feasible, to interests in property that have not been distributed to the persons entitled to receive the interests.
(1) "Advanced fraction" means a fraction that has as its numerator the amount of the advanced tax and as its denominator the value of the interests in insulated property to which that tax is attributable.
(2) "Advanced tax" means the aggregate amount of estate tax attributable to interests in insulated property that is required to be advanced by uninsulated holders under paragraph C.
(3) "Insulated property" means property subject to a time-limited interest that is included in the apportionable estate but is unavailable for payment of an estate tax because of impossibility or impracticability.
(4) "Uninsulated holder" means a person who has an interest in uninsulated property.
(5) "Uninsulated property" means property included in the apportionable estate other than insulated property.
(1) "Special elective benefit" means a reduction in an estate tax obtained by an election for:
(a) A reduced valuation of specified property that is included in the gross estate;
(b) A deduction from the gross estate, other than a marital or charitable deduction, allowed for specified property; or
(c) An exclusion from the gross estate of specified property.
(2) "Specified property" means property for which an election has been made for a special elective benefit.
(1) Any person having an interest in the apportionable estate that is not exonerated from the tax;
(2) Any other person having an interest in the apportionable estate; and
(3) Any person having an interest in the gross estate.
§ 3-1001. Formal proceedings terminating administration; testate or intestate; order of general protection
§ 3-1002. Formal proceedings terminating testate administration; order construing will without adjudicating testacy
A personal representative administering an estate under an informally probated will or any devisee under an informally probated will may petition for an order of settlement of the estate that will not adjudicate the testacy status of the decedent. The personal representative may petition at any time, and a devisee may petition after one year, from the appointment of the original personal representative, except that no petition under this section may be entertained until the time for presenting claims that arose prior to the death of the decedent has expired. The petition may request the court to consider the final account or compel or approve an accounting and distribution, to construe the will and to adjudicate final settlement and distribution of the estate. After notice to all devisees and the personal representative and hearing, the court may enter an order or orders, on appropriate conditions, determining the persons entitled to distribution of the estate under the will and, as circumstances require, approving settlement and directing or approving distribution of the estate and discharging the personal representative from further claim or demand of any devisee who is a party to the proceeding and those the devisee represents. If it appears that a part of the estate is intestate, the proceedings must be dismissed or amendments made to meet the provisions of section 3-1001.
§ 3-1003. Closing estates; by sworn statement of personal representative
§ 3-1004. Liability of distributees to claimants
After assets of an estate have been distributed and subject to section 3-1006, an undischarged claim not barred may be prosecuted in a proceeding against one or more distributees. A distributee is not liable to claimants for amounts received as exempt property or homestead or family allowances or for amounts in excess of the value of the distribution as of the time of distribution. As between distributees, each bears the cost of satisfaction of unbarred claims as if the claim had been satisfied in the course of administration. Any distributee who fails to notify other distributees of the demand made by the claimant in sufficient time to permit them to join in any proceeding in which the claim was asserted loses the right of contribution against other distributees.
§ 3-1005. Limitations on proceedings against personal representative
Unless previously barred by adjudication and except as provided in the closing statement, the rights of successors and of creditors whose claims have not otherwise been barred against the personal representative for breach of fiduciary duty are barred unless a proceeding to assert those rights is commenced within 6 months after the filing of the closing statement. The rights barred by this section do not include rights to recover from a personal representative for fraud, misrepresentation or inadequate disclosure related to the settlement of the decedent's estate.
§ 3-1006. Limitations on actions and proceedings against distributees
Unless previously adjudicated in a formal testacy proceeding or in a proceeding settling the accounts of a personal representative or otherwise barred, the claim of any claimant to recover from a distributee who is liable to pay the claim, and the right of an heir or devisee, or of a successor personal representative acting in the heir's or devisee's behalf, to recover property improperly distributed or its value from any distributee is forever barred at the later of 3 years after the decedent's death or one year after the time of its distribution, but all claims of creditors of the decedent are barred 9 months after the decedent's death. This section does not bar an action to recover property or value received as the result of fraud.
§ 3-1007. Certificate discharging liens securing fiduciary performance
After the personal representative's appointment has terminated, the personal representative, the personal representative's sureties or any successor of either, upon the filing of a verified application showing, so far as is known by the applicant, that no action concerning the estate is pending in any court, is entitled to receive a certificate from the register that the personal representative appears to have fully administered the estate in question. The certificate evidences discharge of any lien on any property given to secure the obligation of the personal representative in lieu of bond or any surety, but does not preclude action against the personal representative or the surety.
§ 3-1008. Subsequent administration
If other property of the estate is discovered after an estate has been settled and the personal representative discharged or after one year after a closing statement has been filed, the court upon petition of any interested person and upon notice as it directs may appoint the same or a successor personal representative to administer the subsequently discovered estate. If a new appointment is made, unless the court orders otherwise, the provisions of this Code apply as appropriate, but no claim previously barred may be asserted in the subsequent administration.
COMPROMISE OF CONTROVERSIES
§ 3-1101. Effect of approval of agreements involving trusts, inalienable interests or interests of 3rd persons
A compromise of any controversy as to admission to probate of any instrument offered for formal probate as the will of a decedent, the construction, validity or effect of any governing instrument, the rights or interests in the estate of the decedent, of any successor or the administration of the estate, if approved in a formal proceeding in the court for that purpose, is binding on all the parties thereto including those unborn, unascertained or who could not be located. An approved compromise is binding even though it may affect a trust or an inalienable interest. A compromise does not impair the rights of creditors or of taxing authorities who are not parties to it.
§ 3-1102. Procedure for securing court approval of compromise
The procedure for securing court approval of a compromise is as follows.
COLLECTION OF PERSONAL PROPERTY BY AFFIDAVIT AND SUMMARY ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES FOR SMALL ESTATES
§ 3-1201. Collection of personal property by affidavit
§ 3-1202. Effect of affidavit
The person paying, delivering, transferring or issuing personal property or the evidence of personal property pursuant to affidavit is discharged and released to the same extent as if the person dealt with a personal representative of the decedent. The person is not required to see to the application of the personal property or evidence of personal property or to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit. If any person to whom an affidavit is delivered refuses to pay, deliver, transfer or issue any personal property or evidence of personal property, it may be recovered or its payment, delivery, transfer or issuance compelled upon proof of their right in a proceeding brought for the purpose by or on behalf of the persons entitled thereto. Any person to whom payment, delivery, transfer or issuance is made is answerable and accountable to any personal representative of the estate or to any other person having a superior right.
§ 3-1203. Small estates; summary administrative procedure
If it appears from the inventory and appraisal that the value of the entire estate, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed homestead allowance, exempt property, family allowance, costs and expenses of administration, reasonable funeral expenses and reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, the personal representative, without giving notice to creditors, may immediately disburse and distribute the estate to the persons entitled to the estate and file a closing statement as provided in section 3-1204.
§ 3-1204. Small estates; closing by sworn statement of personal representative
§ 3-1205. Social security payments
If not less than 30 days after the death of a Maine resident entitled at the time of the resident's death to a monthly benefit or benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, all or part of the amount of such benefit or benefits not in excess of $1,000 is paid by the United States to the surviving spouse, one or more of the decedent's children or descendants of the deceased children, the decedent's father or mother or the decedent's brother or sister, preference being given in the order named if more than one request for payment has been made by or for such individuals, upon an affidavit made and filed with the federal Department of Health and Human Services by the surviving spouse or other relative by whom or on whose behalf request for payment is made; and if the affidavit shows the date of death of the decedent, the relationship of the affiant to the decedent, that no personal representative for the decedent has been appointed and qualified and that, to the affiant's knowledge, there exists at the time of filing of the affidavit no relative of a closer degree of kindred to the decedent than the affiant, then such payment pursuant to the affidavit is deemed to be a payment to the legal representative of the decedent and, regardless of the truth or falsity of the statements made in the affidavit, constitutes a full discharge and release of the United States from any further claim for such payment to the same extent as if such payment had been made to the personal representative of the decedent's estate.
FOREIGN PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE; ANCILLARY
§ 4-101. Definitions
As used in this Article, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
POWERS OF FOREIGN PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES
§ 4-201. Payment of debt and delivery of property to domiciliary foreign personal representative without local administration
At any time after the expiration of 60 days from the death of a nonresident decedent, any person indebted to the estate of the nonresident decedent or having possession or control of personal property or of an instrument evidencing a debt, obligation, stock or chose in action belonging to the estate of the nonresident decedent may pay the debt or deliver the personal property or the instrument evidencing the debt, obligation, stock or chose in action to the domiciliary foreign personal representative of the nonresident decedent upon being presented with proof of the domiciliary foreign personal representative's appointment and an affidavit made by or on behalf of the representative stating:
§ 4-202. Payment or delivery discharges
Payment or delivery made in good faith on the basis of the proof of authority and affidavit releases the debtor or person having possession of the personal property to the same extent as if payment or delivery had been made to a local personal representative.
§ 4-203. Resident creditor notice
Payment or delivery under section 4-201 may not be made if a resident creditor of the nonresident decedent has notified the debtor of the nonresident decedent or the person having possession of the personal property belonging to the nonresident decedent that the debt should not be paid nor the property delivered to the domiciliary foreign personal representative.
§ 4-204. Proof of authority; bond
If no local administration or application or petition for local administration is pending in this State, a domiciliary foreign personal representative may file with a court in this State in a county in which property belonging to the decedent is located authenticated copies of the foreign personal representative's appointment, of any official bond the foreign personal representative has given and a certificate, dated within 60 days, proving the foreign personal representative's current authority.
§ 4-205. Powers
A domiciliary foreign personal representative who has complied with section 4-204 may exercise as to assets in this State all powers of a local personal representative and may maintain actions and proceedings in this State subject to any conditions imposed upon nonresident parties generally.
§ 4-206. Power of representatives in transition
The power of a domiciliary foreign personal representative under section 4-201 or 4-205 may be exercised only if there is no administration or application for administration pending in this State. An application or petition for local administration of the estate terminates the power of the foreign personal representative to act under section 4-205, but the local court may allow the foreign personal representative to exercise limited powers to preserve the estate. A person who, before receiving actual notice of a pending local administration, has changed position in reliance upon the powers of a foreign personal representative may not be prejudiced by reason of the application or petition for, or grant of, local administration. The local personal representative is subject to all duties and obligations that have accrued by virtue of the exercise of the powers by the foreign personal representative and may be substituted for the foreign personal representative in any action or proceedings in this State.
§ 4-207. Ancillary and other local administrations; provisions governing
In respect to a nonresident decedent, the provisions of Article 3 govern:
JURISDICTION OVER FOREIGN REPRESENTATIVES
§ 4-301. Jurisdiction by act of foreign personal representative
A foreign personal representative submits personally to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State in any proceeding relating to the estate by:
Jurisdiction under this subsection is limited to the money or value of personal property collected; or
§ 4-302. Jurisdiction by act of decedent
In addition to jurisdiction conferred by section 4-301, a foreign personal representative is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State to the same extent that the decedent was subject to jurisdiction immediately prior to death.
§ 4-303. Service on foreign personal representative
Service of process may be made upon the foreign personal representative in such manner as the Supreme Judicial Court shall by rule provide.
JUDGMENTS AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE
§ 4-401. Effect of adjudication for or against personal representative
An adjudication rendered in any jurisdiction in favor of or against any personal representative of the estate is as binding on the local personal representative as if the local personal representative were a party to the adjudication.
UNIFORM GUARDIANSHIP AND PROTECTIVE PROCEEDINGS
§ 5-101. Short title
Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this Article may be known and cited as "the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act."
§ 5-102. Definitions
As used in this Article, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 5-103. Facility of transfer
§ 5-104. Subject matter jurisdiction
§ 5-105. Transfer of proceeding
§ 5-106. Venue
§ 5-107. Practice in court
§ 5-108. Letters of office
§ 5-109. Effect of acceptance of appointment
A guardian or conservator that accepts appointment submits personally to the jurisdiction of the court in any proceeding relating to the guardianship or conservatorship.
§ 5-110. Coguardian; coconservator
§ 5-111. Judicial appointment of successor guardian or successor conservator
§ 5-112. Effect of death, removal or resignation of guardian or conservator
§ 5-113. Notice of hearing
§ 5-114. Waiver of notice
§ 5-115. Guardian ad litem
At any stage of a proceeding under this Act, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for an individual to identify and represent the individual's best interest or perform other duties if the court determines the individual's interest otherwise would not be adequately represented. If a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest does not exist, a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent multiple individuals or interests. The guardian ad litem may not be the same individual as the attorney representing the respondent. The court shall state on the record the duties of the guardian ad litem and the reasons for the appointment, as well as responsibility for payment of the guardian ad litem fees.
§ 5-116. Request for notice
A person that is interested in the welfare of a respondent, individual subject to guardianship or conservatorship or individual subject to a protective arrangement instead of guardianship or conservatorship and that is not otherwise entitled to notice under this Act may file a request with the court for notice. The court shall send or deliver a copy of the request to the guardian, to the custodian if one has been appointed and to the individual who is subject to the guardianship, conservatorship or protective arrangement. The recipient of the notice may file an objection within 60 days. If an objection is filed, the court shall hold a hearing on the request. If the court approves the request, the court shall give notice of the approval to the guardian or conservator if one has been appointed or to the respondent if no guardian or conservator has been appointed. The request must include a statement showing the interest of the person making it and the address of the person or an attorney for the person to whom notice is to be given.
§ 5-117. Disclosure of bankruptcy or criminal history
(1) A felony;
(2) A crime involving dishonesty, neglect, violence or use of physical force; or
(3) Any other crime relevant to the functions the individual would assume as guardian or conservator.
§ 5-118. Multiple appointments or nominations
If a respondent or other person makes more than one appointment or nomination of a guardian or a conservator, the latest in time governs.
§ 5-119. Compensation and expenses; in general
§ 5-120. Liability of guardian or conservator for act of individual subject to guardianship or conservatorship
A guardian or conservator is not personally liable to a 3rd person for the act of an individual subject to guardianship or conservatorship solely by reason of the guardianship or conservatorship.
§ 5-121. Petition after appointment for instructions or ratification
§ 5-122. Third-party acceptance of authority of guardian or conservator
§ 5-123. Use of agent by guardian or conservator
§ 5-124. Temporary substitute guardian or conservator
§ 5-125. Registration of order; effect
§ 5-126. Grievance against guardian or conservator
(1) Removal of the guardian and appointment of a successor may be appropriate in accordance with section 5-318;
(2) Termination or modification of the guardianship may be appropriate under section 5-319;
(3) Removal of the conservator and appointment of a successor may be appropriate under section 5-430;
(4) Termination or modification of the conservatorship may be appropriate under section 5-431; and
(1) Ordering the guardian or conservator to provide to the court a report, accounting, inventory, updated plan or other information;
(2) Appointing a guardian ad litem;
(3) Appointing an attorney for the individual subject to guardianship or conservatorship; or
(4) Scheduling a hearing.
§ 5-127. Delegation by parent or guardian
This subsection applies only if the parent's or guardian's service is in support of:
The organization shall maintain records on the training and background checks of agents, including the content and dates of training and full transcripts of background checks, for a period of not less than 5 years after the minor attains 18 years of age. The organization shall make the records available to a parent or guardian executing a power of attorney under this section and to the ombudsman under Title 22, section 4087-A and any local, state or federal authority conducting an investigation involving the agent, the parent or guardian or the minor.
Without regard to whether an organization is included or excluded by the terms of this subsection, nothing in this section changes the restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law as provided in Title 4, section 807 with regard to the preparation of powers of attorney.
GUARDIANSHIP OF MINOR
§ 5-201. Appointment and status of guardian
A person becomes a guardian of a minor by parental appointment or upon appointment by the court. The guardianship status continues until terminated, without regard to the location of the guardian or the minor. This section does not apply to permanency guardians appointed in District Court child protective proceedings under Title 22, section 4038-C. If a minor has a permanency guardian, the court may not appoint another guardian without leave of the District Court in which the child protective proceeding is pending.
§ 5-202. Parental appointment of guardian
§ 5-203. Objection by minor or others to parental appointment
Until the court has confirmed an appointee under section 5-202, a minor who is the subject of an appointment by a parent and who has attained 14 years of age, the other parent or a person other than a parent or guardian having care or custody of the minor may prevent or terminate the appointment at any time by filing a written objection in the court in which the appointing instrument is filed and giving notice of the objection to the guardian and any other persons entitled to notice of the acceptance of the appointment. An objection may be withdrawn and if withdrawn is of no effect. The objection does not preclude judicial appointment of the person selected by the parent if all other requirements for appointment, including appointment over the objection of a parent, are met. The court may treat the filing of an objection as a petition for the appointment of an emergency or interim guardian under section 5-204 and proceed accordingly.
§ 5-204. Judicial appointment of guardian; conditions for appointment
(1) The parent is currently unwilling or unable to meet the minor's needs and that will have a substantial adverse effect on the minor's well-being if the minor lives with the parent; or
(2) The parent has failed, without good cause, to maintain a parental relationship with the minor, including but not limited to failing to maintain regular contact with the minor for a length of time that evidences an intent to abandon the minor.
§ 5-205. Judicial appointment of guardian; procedure
If the court finds that receiving information from the Department of Health and Human Services may be necessary for the determination of any issue before the court, it may order a Department of Health and Human Services employee to attend the hearing and to provide information relevant to the proceeding. When receiving information by oral testimony that is confidential pursuant to Title 22, section 4008, the court shall close the proceeding and ensure that it is recorded. When receiving information contained in written or media records that is confidential pursuant to Title 22, section 4008, the court shall review those records in camera, weighing the confidentiality of such records against the necessity for counsel and the parties to have access to them, and enter an appropriate order regarding the scope and manner of access. The court, in its discretion, may take other measures necessary to preserve the confidentiality of the information received.
If one of the parents of a minor is a member of the National Guard or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces under an order to active duty for a period of more than 30 days, a guardianship that would otherwise expire is automatically extended until 30 days after the parent is no longer under those active duty orders or until an order of the court so provides as long as the parent's service is in support of:
§ 5-206. Terms of order appointing guardian
§ 5-207. Duties of guardian
(1) The current address of the minor and each parent;
(2) The minor's health care and health needs, including any medical and mental health services the child received;
(3) The minor's educational needs and progress, including the name of the minor's school, day care or other early education program, the minor's grade level and the minor's educational achievements;
(4) Contact between the minor and the minor's parents, including the frequency and duration of the contact and whether it was supervised;
(5) How the parents have been involved in decision making for the minor;
(6) Whether the parents have provided any financial support for the minor;
(7) How the guardian has carried out the guardian's responsibilities and duties under the order of appointment;
(8) An accounting of any funds received on the minor's behalf;
(9) The minor's strengths, challenges and any other areas of concern; and
(10) Recommendations with supporting reasons as to whether the guardianship order should be continued, modified or terminated.
§ 5-208. Powers of guardian
§ 5-209. Rights and immunities of guardian
§ 5-210. Modification or termination of guardianship; other proceedings after appointment
§ 5-211. Transitional arrangement for minors
In issuing, modifying or terminating an order of guardianship for a minor, the court may enter an order providing for transitional arrangements for the minor if the court determines that such arrangements will assist the minor with a transition of custody and are in the best interest of the minor. Orders providing for transitional arrangements may include, but are not limited to, rights of contact, housing, counseling or rehabilitation. In determining the best interest of the minor, a court may consider the minor's relationship with the guardian and need for stability.
§ 5-212. Appointment of guardian ad litem for minor
In any proceeding under this Part, including for issuing, modifying or terminating an order of guardianship for a minor, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor. The appointment may be made at any time, but the court shall make every effort to make the appointment as soon as possible after the commencement of the proceeding. The court shall follow the requirements of section 1-111 and other applicable law or court rules in making the appointment.
GUARDIANSHIP OF ADULT
§ 5-301. Basis for appointment of guardian for adult
(1) The respondent is unable to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions, even with appropriate supportive services, technological assistance or supported decision making;
(2) The respondent's identified needs cannot be met by a protective arrangement instead of guardianship or other less restrictive alternatives; and
(3) The appointment is necessary or desirable as a means of enabling the respondent to meet essential requirements for physical health, safety or self-care; or
§ 5-302. Petition for appointment of guardian for adult
(1) Spouse or domestic partner or, if the respondent has none, any adult with whom the respondent has shared household responsibilities for more than 6 months in the 12-month period before the filing of the petition;
(2) Adult children or, if the respondent has none, each parent and adult sibling of the respondent or, if the respondent has none, at least one adult nearest in kinship to the respondent who can be found with reasonable diligence; and
(3) Adult stepchildren whom the respondent actively parented during the stepchildren's minor years and with whom the respondent had an ongoing relationship within 2 years before the filing of the petition;
(1) A person responsible for care of the respondent;
(2) Any attorney currently representing the respondent;
(3) The representative payee appointed by the United States Social Security Administration for the respondent;
(4) A guardian or conservator acting for the respondent in this State or in another jurisdiction;
(5) A trustee or custodian of a trust or custodianship of which the respondent is a beneficiary;
(6) The United States Department of Veterans Affairs fiduciary for the respondent;
(7) An agent designated under a power of attorney for health care in which the respondent is identified as the principal;
(8) An agent designated under a power of attorney for finances in which the respondent is identified as the principal;
(9) A person nominated as guardian by the respondent;
(10) A person nominated as guardian by the respondent's parent, spouse or domestic partner in a will or other signed record;
(11) A proposed guardian and the reason the proposed guardian should be selected; and
(12) A person known to have routinely assisted the respondent with decision making within the 6 months before the filing of the petition;
(1) The nature and extent of the respondent's alleged need;
(2) Any protective arrangement instead of guardianship or other less restrictive alternatives for meeting the respondent's alleged need that have been considered or implemented;
(3) If no protective arrangement or other less restrictive alternatives have been considered or implemented, the reason they have not been considered or implemented; and
(4) The reason a protective arrangement or other less restrictive alternatives are insufficient to meet the respondent's alleged need;
§ 5-303. Notice and hearing
§ 5-304. Appointment of visitor
§ 5-305. Appointment and role of attorney for adult
§ 5-306. Professional evaluation
§ 5-307. Attendance and rights at hearing
§ 5-308. Confidentiality of records
(1) The petition for guardianship is dismissed; or
(2) The guardianship is terminated.
§ 5-309. Who may be guardian of adult; priorities
§ 5-310. Order of appointment
(1) The power to manage the care of the adult subject to guardianship;
(2) The power to make decisions about where the adult subject to guardianship lives;
(3) The power to make major medical decisions on behalf of the adult subject to guardianship;
(4) Any power that requires court approval under section 5-315; or
(5) Substantially all powers of the guardian.
§ 5-311. Notice of order of appointment; rights