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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to find the Maine statute that describes the format and content for an Affidavit of Heirship.

I received one when I purchased my sailboat, and now the NVDC wants me to provide a copy of the statute to see if the affidavit provided "is in substantial compliance with the law."

I tried searching the excellent website;

Maine Constitution, Statutes and Laws

but couldn't find the actual statute that describes an Affidavit of Heirship. When you do an internet search for Maine Affidavit of Heirship, you get a bunch of legal forms website that want to sell you an Affidavit of Heirship form. I need the Maine law that describes what it should contain.

Thanks,

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks David. I've searched all over that site, (and this one, and this one). I can't find anything that describes what an Affidavit of Heirship should contain, based on Maine law. I'm hoping someone knows exactly where it is, and can point me to it.

I may try simply calling one of the County Registers of Probate listed here, and asking them.

Jason
 

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Thanks David. I've searched all over that site, (and this one, and this one). I can't find anything that describes what an Affidavit of Heirship should contain, based on Maine law. I'm hoping someone knows exactly where it is, and can point me to it.

I may try simply calling one of the County Registers of Probate listed here, and asking them.

Jason
Or you may just fork out a few bucks and call a probate attorney and have him look it up in westlaw.

Of course the desperate solution is to look at the writing style of a couple laws and write your own that has exactly what you need.:)
 

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I'm trying to find the Maine statute that describes the format and content for an Affidavit of Heirship...
I need the Maine law that describes what it should contain.

Thanks,

Jason
I advise you to find a Maine probate lawyer on Avvo.com - The right attorney makes the difference.

Virginia provides for a Real Estate Affidavit in Virginia Code Section 64.2-510 LIS > Code of Virginia > 64.2-510 to show the inheritance of real property in land records without probate. I am not aware of any similar affidavit in Virginia for personal property.
 

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This link will take you to a good general definition of an affidavit of heirship, as well as a discussion of what it must contain. It isn't specific to Maine, but it is likely to be consistent with Maine law. What is an Affidavit of Heirship? - Download Free Affidavit of Heirship Forms

You need access to an encyclopedia of law. "Corpus Juris Secundum" generally covers the laws of all states. I imagine Maine has it's own encyclopedia of law, which is probably called something like "Maine Jurisprudence." You can find both in any law library of any law school in Maine. The law school in my home town permits any person to use their law books, not just students. Perhaps Maine law schools do as well.
 

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Take the advise from James. Get an attorney in Maine experienced in probate, you will save a lot of time and maybe money. Your legal right to the boat may be challenged if the documented transfer of the boat title has not been completed under Maine law.

I have worked through issues created by relatives deaths with and without a wills.

Even with a will things can get really complicated and a good attorney can make it less complicated, without a will even with a good attorney complications will grow, and relatives you did not know existed will appear.

Anybody who cares about the people left behind should have a will and a living will prepared by an attorney experienced in probate.
 
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When a government agency asks you to provide some information to them, you should try to provide exactly what they ask for - nothing more and nothing less. Sometimes, if you try to be helpful, and provide more than they have requested, you might unnecessarily open a can of worms.

Based on your original post, "... NVDC wants me to provide a copy of the statute to see if the affidavit provided is in substantial compliance with the law.'" If you have access to a nearby law library, you might be able to find a copy of the statute without the help of an attorney. You might even be able to request help in finding it from the law librarian.

If you are unable to find a copy of the law, then I suggest you ask an attorney to examine the Affidavit of Heirship and write an opinion letter, with a copy of the affidavit attached, stating that, in his opinion, the attached affidavit of heirship "...is in substantial compliance with the law." The attorney's fee for providing his legal opinion on the legal sufficiency of the affidavit should be reasonably nominal.

Either of those courses of action should provide NVDC what they are requesting.
 

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I don't know if one of these are the right one, but a quick search looks like the right area:

ME Rev. Stat. Title 18-A. Sections 3-1201 or 3-1202.

If you can't find it in one of these look under all the 3-1200's.
 

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I disagree.

The referenced statutes deal with turning over property in reliance on an affidavit and the exception for full inventory accountings by a personal representative of a small estate.

It is now abundantly clear you have a legal title problem. You should consult with a licensed attorney in Maine for guidance. While there are a number of lawyers on this listserv (and an even greater number of wanna be lawyers), lawyers are licensed to practice law in individual, particular states, each of which has different laws.

I would hazard a guess that you are in the position where you are now because you did not consult a lawyer when you "bought" your boat from someone who seemingly had all the answers you wanted to hear, as supplemented by your internet research. You might not have good title as a result of those shortcuts.

In general, an affidavit would not suffice to perfect a bequest or intestate succession of personal property for purposes of transferring it to another. Normally, that requires probate and the appointment of a personal representative/executor/administrator, who is then qualified to administer the estate, and must follow up on receipts and disbursements, as a fiduciary, by reporting to a court-appointed commissioner. Many states have a small estate affidavit, which relieves the personal representative of the estate from making a full accounting.
 

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Jameswilson may be right, but I wasn't trying to give you a legal opinion, just direct you to where you might find the statute you are looking for. I can't comment on his legal opinion "that you clearly have a legal title problem." I don't have enough information so would not venture to give you an opinion. But if the Agency is looking only to see that the affidavit fully complies with the law, might as well give it a shot.

I incorrectly directed you to 1204, while I was looking at 1205. It looks to me that if the personal representative complies with 1205 for small estates then the transfer is lawful. You can make this a huge issue or you can first see if the Agency will accept the cited statute. It is not going to make things worse, right?

For better or worse, often time the so called "practice of law" has nothing to do with the law.
 
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