Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children - Maine

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Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, §§ 9-105; 2-109

An adopted person retains the right to inherit from the adopted person's birth parents if the adoption decree so provides, as specified in § 2-109. If a birth parent wishes an adopted child to inherit from the birth parents and their respective kin, the adoption decree must provide for that status.

Adoption of a child by the spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and either birth parent.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, §§ 9-105; 2-109

An adopted person has all the same rights, including inheritance rights, that a child born to the adoptive parent(s) would have.

For purposes of intestate succession, an adopted person is a child of the adopting parent and not the birth parents.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 18-A, §§ 2-302; 2-611

If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children who were adopted after the execution of his or her will, the omitted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which he or she would have received if the testator had died intestate unless:

  • It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • When the will was executed, the testator had one or more children and bequeathed substantially all his or her estate to the other parent of the omitted child.
  • The testator provided for the child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.

Adopted persons are included in class gift terminology and terms of relationship in wills and in trust instruments in accordance with rules for determining relationships for purposes of intestate succession.