Maine Easement Deed

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An easement or right-of-way is defined in the Maine Revised Statutes as the right of a person to pass over the land of another person ( 33-458). The easement deed is the instrument which creates this right. In a conveyance of real estate in Maine, all rights, easements, privileges, and appurtenances belonging to the granted estate should be included in the conveyance, unless a contrary intention is stated in the deed (33-773).

A conservation easement, another type of easement in Maine, is a non-possessory interest of a holder in real property imposing limitations or affirmative obligations for the purpose of retaining or protecting the natural, scenic, or open space values of real property (33-476). This type of easement can be created, conveyed, recorded, assigned, or partially released in the same manner as other easements created by written instrument in the state ( 33-477). A solar easement can also be created in this state for the purpose of ensuring direct access to sunlight. This type of easement is required to be in writing and is recorded and indexed the same way that other conveyances of real property interests are recorded. Solar easements are appurtenant and run with the land benefited and burdened (1401).

A Maine easement deed is subject to the same formalities as other conveyances and must therefore be signed and acknowledged by the grantor before it is submitted for recording. Acknowledgements can be taken before a notary public in the state of Maine, or before an attorney-at-law eligible to practice in the courts of the state of Maine, or before any of the officials listed in 33-203 of the Maine Revised Statutes. Easement deeds can be acknowledged according to the Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act, which Maine has adopted. Under this act, a notarial act performed by a notary public in another state requires only the notary's signature and title in order to be recorded ( 4-1011).

An easement deed and other conveyances of real estate in fee simple in Maine will not be effectual against any person except the grantor, his heirs, and devisees, and persons having actual notice thereof unless the deed is acknowledged and recorded in the registry of deeds in the county where the property is located. If the land is in two or more counties then the deed should be recorded in the registry of deeds in each county. Conveyances of the right, title, or interest of the grantor, if duly recorded, are as effectual against prior unrecorded conveyances, as if they purported to convey actual title. All recorded real estate deeds, leases, or other written instruments pertaining to real estate in Maine will take precedence over unrecorded attachments and seizures ( 33-201). In order for an easement deed to constitute actual notice, it must meet the statutory conditions as set forth in 33-201A of the Maine Revised Statutes.

(Maine ED Package includes form, guidelines, and completed example)

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