Maine Revised Statutes

§3-108. Probate, testacy and appointment proceedings; ultimate time limit

(a).    For a decedent dying on or after January 1, 1981, no informal probate or appointment proceeding or formal testacy or appointment proceeding, other than a proceeding to probate a will previously probated at the testator's domicile and appointment proceedings relating to an estate in which there has been a prior appointment, may be commenced more than 3 years after the decedent's death, except:
(1). If a previous proceeding was dismissed because of doubt about the fact of the decedent's death, appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained at any time thereafter upon a finding that the decedent's death occurred prior to the initiation of the previous proceeding and the applicant or petitioner has not delayed unduly in initiating the subsequent proceeding; [1983, c. 256, (NEW).]
(2). Appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained in relation to the estate of an absent, disappeared or missing person for whose estate a conservator has been appointed, at any time within 3 years after the conservator becomes able to establish the death of the protected person; [2009, c. 368, §1 (AMD).]
(3). A proceeding to contest an informally probated will and to secure appointment of the person with legal priority for appointment in the event the contest is successful may be commenced within the later of 12 months from the informal probate or 3 years from the decedent's death; and [2009, c. 368, §2 (AMD).]
(4). Appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be commenced in relation to a claim for personal injury made against the decedent by a person without actual notice of the death of the decedent at any time within 6 years after the cause of action accrues. If the proceedings are commenced more than 3 years after the decedent's death, any recovery is limited to applicable insurance. [2009, c. 368, §3 (NEW).]
These limitations do not apply to proceedings to construe probated wills or determine heirs of an intestate. In cases under paragraph (1) or (2), the date on which a testacy or appointment proceeding is properly commenced is deemed to be the date of the decedent's death for purposes of other limitations provisions of this Code that relate to the date of death.
[ 2009, c. 368, §§1-3 (AMD) .]
(b).    For a decedent dying before January 1, 1981, no informal probate or appointment proceeding or formal testacy or appointment proceeding, other than a proceeding to probate a will previously probated at the testator's domicile and appointment proceedings relating to an estate in which there has been a prior appointment, may be commenced more than 20 years after the decedent's death, except:
(1). If a previous proceeding was dismissed because of doubt about the fact of the decedent's death, appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained at any time thereafter upon a finding that the decedent's death occurred prior to the initiation of the previous proceeding and the applicant or petitioner has not delayed unduly in initiating the subsequent proceeding; [1983, c. 256, (NEW).]
(2). Appropriate probate, appointment or testacy proceedings may be maintained in relation to the estate of an absent, disappeared or missing person for whose estate a conservator has been appointed at any time within the applicable limitation period, as set forth in this section, which shall begin to run after the conservator becomes able to establish the death of the protected person; and [1983, c. 256, (NEW).]
(3). A proceeding to contest an informally probated will and to secure appointment of the person with legal priority for appointment in the event the contest is successful may be commenced within the later of 12 months from the informal probate or the running of the applicable limitation period. [2005, c. 683, Pt. C, §5 (AMD).]
These limitations do not apply to proceedings to construe probated wills or determine heirs of an intestate. In cases under paragraph (1) or (2), the date on which a testacy or appointment proceeding is properly commenced is deemed to be the date of the decedent's death for purposes of the limitations provisions of this Code that relate to the date of death.
[ 2005, c. 683, Pt. C, §5 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW). 1983, c. 256, (RPR). 2005, c. 683, §C5 (AMD). 2009, c. 368, §§1-3 (AMD).