Maine Real Estate Deeds

A person owning real estate in Maine and having a right of entry into it, whether seized of it or not, can convey it or all his interest in it by a deed in writing that is to be acknowledged and recorded in the county where the property is located ( 33-151). There can be no estate greater than a tenancy at will, and no estate in them can be granted, assigned, or surrendered unless by an instrument in writing signed by the grantor or the grantor's attorney (33-162). The forms set forth in section 775 can be used for a conveyance in Maine and are sufficient for such purpose. The statutory short form deeds can be altered as circumstances require, and the authorization of these forms does not prevent the use of other forms. Commonly used forms in this state are the warranty deed and quitclaim deed.

Any person of lawful age who can enter into a contract to convey legal property in this state is able to hold and convey property. Further ownership rights in this state may pertain to aliens, joint tenants, and individuals. In Maine, an alien may take, hold, convey, and devise real estate or any interest therein (33-451). A conveyance to two or more people will create an estate in common, unless another intention is expressed in the deed or instrument of conveyance. Real estate deeds can also be conveyed to two or more people, with or without a right of survivorship (33-159). An owner of real estate can convey his real estate or any interest in it free from any claim to the real estate by his non-owner spouse, by deed, mortgage, or other instrument, without the signature of his non-owner spouse unless: (1) the transfer requires a signature pursuant to the Title 18-A, section 2-202, subsections 1 and 3; or (2) the non-owner spouse has filed a claim in the registry of deeds pursuant to Title 19-A, section 953, and either the divorce action is still pending or the non-owner spouse has been granted an interest in the real estate by the court. The type of deed used will depend on the owner's rights, whether or not there are any warranties included, and the intentions of the parties involved in the conveyance of real property.

A deed must be acknowledged by the grantor or by the person executing it before any notary public in the state, before an attorney at law in Maine, or before a clerk of a court of record in the state having seal ( 33-203). An instrument with an acknowledgment that conforms to the requirements of the Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act, Title 4 sec 1011 will be accepted for recording. When presenting a deed for recording, it must contain the grantee's name and mailing address (33-456).

In Maine, no conveyance is effectual against anyone except the grantor, his heirs, and devises, and persons having actual notice thereof unless the deed or lease is acknowledged and recorded with the registry of deeds in the county where the land is located. If the land is located in more than one county, then the deed should be recorded in each county. Conveyances of the right, title, or interest of the grantor, if duly recorded, shall be as effectual against prior unrecorded conveyances, as if they purported to convey an actual title. A recorded deed, lease, or other written instrument regarding real estate will take precedence over unrecorded attachments and seizures ( 33-201). A deed that is purporting to convey an absolute estate in land cannot be defeated by an instrument intended as a defeasance, as against any person other than the maker, his heirs, and devises, unless such instrument is recorded in the registry of deeds office where the deed is recorded ( 33-202).