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Your Montana last will and testament, created with confidence

Create your last will and testament forms easily from home and in under an hour with FindLaw’s guided process.

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Montana will options that meet your needs

Last Will and Testament

For One Person

A do-it-yourself last will that’s easy to personalize.

$99
What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
A last will and testament that’s customized to your wishes
Free changes and revisions to your will for up to one full year after purchase

BEST VALUE

Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

$189
What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?


Reliable Montana last will and testament

Regardless of your income level or net worth, it could be beneficial for you to have a last will and testament. You can use a will to make decisions about your real estate and personal property, but there are also other uses for a will. For example, you can use your will to create a trust for a disabled family member. You can also name the individuals you wish to take care of your children or pets when you die. With FindLaw’s easy-to-use forms you can control your property’s fate, determine when beneficiaries can access their inheritance, and secure your estate by expressly disinheriting specific individuals.

 

Acacia_Wilson_Image

Written by:

Acacia Wilson, Esq.

Contributing Author

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Reviewed by:

J.P. Finet, J.D.

Contributing Author

How It Works

It only takes minutes to control your future. Need help? Contact one of our directory attorneys.

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time.

Gather information

You will need a list of your assets, contact information for important people, and any wishes you want to be honored when you’re gone.

Complete your documents

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing.

Make it legal

Carefully follow the instructions provided in the form, which may include signing your documents in front of witnesses or a notary.

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Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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What’s next to create my Montana last will and testament?

If you want a will, you can hire a lawyer or use a will form from a reliable source. If you use a form, follow these steps:

Make a list of the assets you’d like to include in your will

You have options when it comes to how you can dispose of your assets. If you’d prefer to transfer some of your property to someone while you’re alive, you can give it as a gift. Another alternative to consider is creating a living trust. Gifts and living trusts differ from wills in that a will only takes effect after the person who made it dies.

Consider all of the ways in which you may want to transfer your assets as you go about making a list of the property you’d want to include in your will. The following types of assets may be disposed of in a Montana will:

  • Bank accounts
  • Cash
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Stocks and bonds

You can also make a separate list of tangible personal property and state who you’d like to receive each item. Tangible personal property could include art, jewelry, or family heirlooms. If you make a separate list of tangible personal property, be sure to reference the list in your will.

Pick your beneficiaries

You’ll need to decide which individuals and organizations you’d like to receive something from your estate. The individuals or organizations who receive assets from your estate are called beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries can include:

  • Family members
  • Friends and neighbors
  • Charities

Be sure to clearly identify the individuals and organizations you choose as beneficiaries. Use their full and legal names.

Pick guardians for your children

It is important for you to choose guardians for your minor children or incapacitated adult children in your will. If you don’t designate someone, and you die with dependent children, a court could end up appointing someone to handle their care. By naming a guardian in your will, you decide who takes care of your children.

Choose someone you trust to be the guardian of your children, keeping in mind that the person will have many duties and responsibilities. It’s also a good idea to pick an alternate guardian, just in case the guardian you chose is unwilling or unable to fulfill the role.

Pick an executor

An executor is the person who administers an estate. Sometimes called personal representatives, executors are responsible for handling debts and distributing the remaining assets of the estate to the beneficiaries.

If you don’t name an executor in a valid will, a probate court may appoint someone to serve as executor or personal representative of your estate. You can avoid having one chosen for you by naming an executor and alternate executor in your Montana will.

Sign your legal document

Montana has legal requirements on executing a last will and testament. The requirements apply to both the testator and the document itself. As the person making the will, you would be the testator. The people who attest to your signature on the will are witnesses.

As the testator, you must meet the following requirements: 18 years of age or older and sound mind. Being of sound mind typically means that you haven’t been deemed incompetent in a legal proceeding.

Furthermore, Montana Code Annotated Section 72-2-522 states that a will must be:

  • In writing
  • Signed by the testator or by another person (at the testator’s direction and in the testator’s presence)
  • Signed by at least two individuals

Holographic wills (handwritten wills) are recognized in Montana, unlike in many other states. If a testator makes a will in their own handwriting, it could be valid as a holographic will even though it doesn’t have witness signatures. This is because witnesses aren’t necessary for holographic wills in Montana.

 

Store your will in a safe place

Once you have properly executed your document, the next step will be to store it in a safe and accessible place. It’s important that the people who’ll need to locate your will when you die can gain access to it. If, for example, your executor can’t get to your will because you placed it in a safe deposit box that they have no access to, it could cause unnecessary hassle and delay.

Consider storing your will in a home safe and letting your executor know how to access it. Another option is to file your will with the district court.

Review and revise your will as necessary

As major life events occur, you might find that you need to make changes to your last will and testament. Such life events include:

  • Birth of a child
  • Marriage
  • Divorce

Remember to review your will from time to time, and be aware that you might need to make changes if a beneficiary dies. Changes can be made in many ways, including the use of a codicil. The laws of Montana provide for revocation of a will, as well. You may revoke a Montana will by either making a new one that revokes the old will or by performing a “revocatory act.” A revocatory act could be burning, tearing, or destroying the will that you’d like to revoke.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if you:

  • Have a past divorce, blended family, or other complex family situation
  • Have a high-value estate
  • Own a business
  • Want to create a special needs trust
  • Want legal review of your completed will
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Common questions about Montana last wills

There’s no requirement in Montana that you get your last will and testament notarized in order to make it valid. However, there are reasons you may still want to do so.

A notarized will is considered to be self-proving. This means a probate court won’t have to call witnesses to provide testimony as to the validity of the will. When a probate court requires witness testimony, it often slows down the probate process. Consider getting your will notarized by an officer authorized to administer oaths so that your family can move through the probate process more quickly.

No, you don’t need a lawyer to make a last will and testament in Montana. You can do it yourself, using our quick and simple guided process.

FindLaw is not a law firm, and the forms are not a substitute for the advice or services of an attorney. You may want to consider an attorney if you have a complex estate or assets, or a complex family situation that needs extra attention.

You may be able to find a free will form on the internet, but you could run into problems with it. As explained above, it’s important that your will meet the requirements of the laws in your state. If you use a free form you find online, it may not comply with Montana law, and your will could be found to be invalid. Rather than using a free form that might not meet the requirements in your state or cover the unique situations you face, get started making a will with one of our DIY Montana forms.

If you die without a will in Montana, a probate court may decide how your property will be distributed. In making this determination, probate courts apply the laws of intestate succession, which govern the distribution of assets in the absence of a will.

If you die intestate in Montana, your surviving spouse may take a share of your estate. Your descendants may also be entitled to their share. The court will go down the list to more distant relatives to distribute assets when necessary. Having a will keeps strangers from deciding who gets your assets.

In addition to a will, you might wish to add a living will and power of attorney to your estate plan. A living will is a legal document that explains your wishes regarding medical treatment. Living wills can be useful if you are ever incapacitated and unable to communicate your choices. A power of attorney could be helpful for health care or financial decision-making. With a power of attorney, you could authorize someone to make the same kinds of decisions that you would normally make for yourself.

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