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Montana Estate Planning

You may know that estate planning allows you to explain how you'd like your assets distributed after your death. Although the state of Montana doesn't have an estate tax, estate planning can also be used to minimize federal estate taxes. But did you also know that estate planning is about more than just planning for your death? An estate planning attorney can help you create several tools that can help you today and in the future.

Common Estate Planning Tools

A last will and testament is one of the best-known estate planning tools. It allows you to:

  • Explain how you'd like your estate (include real estate, money and other personal property) to be distributed after your death
  • Name an executor to manage your estate after you pass away and distribute your assets according to the instructions in your last will and testament
  • Name a guardian for your minor child in the event that you and your child's other parent die before the child is 18 years old

To create a last will and testament in Montana, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.

People who want to give their heirs more privacy may opt for a living trust instead of a last will or in addition to a last will. A living trust offers some additional benefits over a will, such as avoiding the probate process. Your estate planning lawyer can help determine if a living trust is right for you.

Another common estate planning tool is the power of attorney document. This allows you to authorize a person (known as your attorney in fact) to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf. The scope and length of the person's authority can be customized. You could authorize the person to sign one legal document for you on one day, or you could authorize the individual to have broad authority if you're incapacitated, or something in between.

Finally, the healthcare power of attorney and the living will are two medical estate planning documents that give you greater control over your medical care. The healthcare power of attorney is used to name a surrogate who is empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf if you're incapacitated. The living will is used to explain your wishes for end-of-live treatment and care.

Find & Hire Local Montana Estate Planning Attorneys

Need help locating estate planning lawyers in Billings, Missoula or Great Falls? Wherever you live in Montana,'s free lawyer referral service can help you quickly locate attorneys in your area. Call us today at 877-913-7222 to get matched with an attorney, or fill out the form on this page.