Maine: Every Legal, Medical, and Estate Planning Document You Need

Here's a complete guide to every critical medical, legal, and estate planning document and relevant state law for STATE. Download these forms and get started with Pillar to organize all of your most important documents in one safe, secure, easy-to-use online storage solution

February 2, 2021

If you or a loved one lives in Maine, there are a number of forms, documents, resources, and specific state laws you should be aware of. Whether you are handling a guardianship of an elderly person, or just want to know how probate court or inheritance law works, continue reading for some of the more important documents and laws you should know about for the state of Maine.

Maine: Essential Medical State Laws & Forms

How to Get Your Medical Records in Maine

According to Maine law, (Title 22 §1711) doctors and hospitals are each required to retain your medical records for different periods of time:

  • Hospitals: These facilities must retain medical records for at least 7 years. If the patient is a minor, they will hold the records for at least 6 years or until the patient reaches the age of majority.
  • Physicians: Independent practice doctors are not required to retain records for any period of time as there is no statute governing that particular issue.

In Maine you have a right to access and view your medical records. You also have a right to amend and add information to your medical records. However, depending on the nature of the medical records, certain information may not be eligible for amendment.

How much does it cost to get your medical records in Maine?

Speaking with your healthcare provider regarding amendments is the best option. Fees vary from office to office; however, the legislature has enacted a law stating that fees cannot exceed a reasonable cost.  The charge for the copies or the report may not exceed $5 for the first page and 45¢ for each additional page, up to a maximum of $250 for the entire treatment record or medical report.

Maine Advance Directive Forms & Laws

How to Create a Living Will in Maine

The Maine living will form is available from the Maine Hospital Association. This form has additional documents related to creating a medical POA, or medical proxy, organ donation, and funeral planning.

Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)

DNRs are allowed in Maine. Part 7 of this form allows you to file a DNR. The patient and listed medical provider must both sign the form.

Durable Medical Power of Attorney (POA)

This form is available in Maine and allows you to name another person to be your agent. This agent will have the ability to make medical decisions for you.

This is also available in this form issued by the Maine Hospital Association. 

In order for the form to be filled out, the patient must also have different witnesses present depending on which section they are completing or signing. Fortunately, Maine has collected all the necessary information for the above issues and placed them into one set of forms.

Maine Organ Donor Registry

If you want to be an organ donor in Maine, you can learn more and register at the registry website. This is also available in a section of the previously mentioned advanced directive packet.

Essential Maine Legal & Estate Planning Documents & Forms

Trusts and Probate Laws in Maine

Per Maine statute Title 18-C, a person’s estate will go through the probate process if a will exists. A will can be signed by two witnesses in front of the subject of the will; additionally, a faster process can create a self-proving will if the will gets notarized. Maine probate can be skipped if the value of the estate does not exceed $20,000.

An executor can also file a written request to the court to skip the probate process, the court has the ultimate say in the matter after looking at all the values, facts, and circumstances of the estate. 

Learn more about how to create a will in 8 steps

Maine Digital Estate Planning Laws

Maine recently incorporated digital estate planning laws, available here. The new statute provides information on how to properly manage and protect digital estates and their assets.

Maine Probate Laws

If a person’s estate is intestate because they die without a will, it will be distributed through Maine’s intestacy laws. This is a process that involves distributing assets to the closest relatives.

Intestacy succession laws are available here.

Learn the biggest differences between a will and a trust and how a trust can help you avoid the potentially lengthy probate process.

How to Get a Marriage, Birth, and Death Certificate in Maine

Visit the official website to obtain a marriage, death, or birth certificate (or copy)

  • Marriage certificate: The cost to acquire a marriage certificate is $15.00. Additional copies are $6.00.
  • Birth certificate: The cost to acquire a death certificate is $15.00. Additional copies are $6.00.
  • Death certificate: The cost to acquire a death certificate is $15.00. Additional copies are $6.00.

Non-certified copies of the the following records are available for $10.00. They will be stamped saying, “Not for Legal Purposes.”

Does Maine Have an Estate & Inheritance Tax?

The state of Maine is one of a few states that does have an estate tax.

  • The top rate is 12% with an exemption threshold of $5.6 million.
  • The second highest rate is 10% which applies to estates valued between 8.6 million and $11.6 million.
  • The lowest rate is 8% which applies to estates valued between $5.6 million and $8.6 million.
  • Inheritance tax: There are no inheritance taxes in Maine
  • Gift tax: There are no gift taxes in Maine.

Be aware that you are still responsible for federal taxes on an inheritance.

Everything You Need to Know About Estate Planning in Maine

Maine has a number of unique state laws when it comes to your medical records, inheritance taxes, wills, trusts, and estate planning. Navigate the strict probate process and estate tax with confidence with your customized and organized Pillar account. You can scan, store, and share your most important state documents when you need them with Pillar's secure and easy-to-use online storage tool for you and your family.

Start your free 14-day trial today and see if Pillar is right for you.