Montana Wills and Probate
When a family member or other loved one passes away, it is natural to feel overwhelmed with emotions. Having to wade through the complex and tedious process of probating that person's estate can add stress and frustration during a time when you are grieving. Moreover, missteps and missed deadlines can prove costly, which is why the decision to partner with a Montana wills and probate attorney is a wise one.
How Does the Probate Process in Montana Work?
Probate is the legal term for the process in which the estate of a deceased person, also called a decedent, is settled. The process includes the payment of any lingering debts and taxes before money or property can be passed to heirs in the form of inheritances. The main objectives in the probate process are the responsibility of the personal representative, who may be a family member, friend, attorney, trust, bank, or other entity. The personal representative, or executor, is usually named in the will, if there is one, or appointed by the court.
In the Montana probate process, the personal representative’s responsibilities include:
- Notifying heirs and devisees within 30 days of appointment
- Publishing public notices and notifying creditors, in case debtors want to file claims against the estate
- Paying all bills and taxes, and distributing remaining assets to heirs
- Closing the estate, either informally, by filing a statement with the court, or formally through a hearing
Each of these steps requires careful documentation and is time sensitive. It can seem like an enormous burden to someone who is not well versed in Montana's probate laws, especially in the case of a large or complicated estate. Probate lawyers in Montana offer confidence and reassurance to clients and their families by ensuring the process runs as smoothly and thoroughly as possible.
What Services Do Montana Wills Lawyers Offer?
Will attorneys practicing in Montana offer a full range of planning tools and services to help you plan your estate or settle the affairs for someone else’s, including:
- Simple or complex wills
- Codicils (changes to wills)
- Advance directives and living wills
- Powers of attorney
- Guardianship and conservatorship
- Asset inventory and protection
- Setting up trusts
- Minimizing estate taxes
- Administering estates
- Dispute litigation or alternative resolution
Contact a Montana Wills and Probate Lawyer Today
While it is never easy to lose a loved one, there is some comfort in knowing you are seeing through his or her final wishes with regard to distributing property or other assets. And when it comes to planning for your own estate, it is reassuring to know you are doing all you can to ensure the process goes smoothly for your surviving loved ones. Whether you are just beginning to think about writing a will or are facing the probate of someone else's, the sooner you partner with a qualified attorney practicing in these fields, the better. Call now to speak with a wills and probate lawyer in Montana at 877-913-7222.