The Perks of a Last Will and Testament in Montana
A last will and testament refers to a legal instrument used to define your after-life wishes while allowing you to control most, if not all the moves that your loved one take in matters regarding your estate. Using a free Montana last will and testament form, you get to name who gets what percentage of your estate, who divides your estate, and if you have minor kids or a special needs' dependent, you use it to name their guardian.
In this article, we shall look at the roles and the perks of the last will in detail. At the end of it, you should be able to fill out last will form and create free last will and testament in Montana.
But first, what is the difference between a last will and a living will?
As someone careful about what happens to their finances, kids or healthcare in the event of incapacitation, you could have a power of attorney drawn up. That means that you could be uncertain about the need for the last will.
Note that regardless of your thoughts, a last will is as important as the living will – perhaps even more important. A living will communicates your wishes regarding healthcare or finances and kids when you are still alive through a power of attorney. However, the last will defines your wishes upon death. While the powers of the living will cease at death, those of the last will kick in.
Now that you know the difference, what are the perks of the will
, in details?
You can rest peacefully knowing that your kids will be well cared for in your absence.
For parents, the primary role of a will is child protection. A will is the one document that assures you the protection of your kids because even the law acknowledges and protects it.
So, if you want to make your kids' godparents your kids' legal guardians upon your demise, you will create a will and in it name the guardian. You might want to speak to your prospective guardians before tasking them with that huge role. We also recommend appointing a successor, just in case something happens to the named guardian.
Besides appointing a guardian, you could also use the will to create a testamentary trust for your children. Testamentary trusts are irrevocable and managed by trustees. The trustee of the trust is officially appointed by the probate court when the executor files the will with the court for validation. These trusts only expire after the date written on them.
It lets you decide who receives part or your entire estate.
Using a will, you name beneficiaries of your estate – the persons who will receive your estate. You are the only one who can say who gets a piece of your estate. So, if you want to donate everything to charity, you can do it – just put it down in the will.
Don’t you wish to outlive your business? So, how about putting in place a succession plan for your business? You could also instruct your partners to the business board on how they should run the business in your absence. Since about 70 percent of family businesses do not survive past the first generation, you may want to create a different story for your business.
You know that you can still protect your pet upon your death, right? Well, your family may do right by you but, why risk it when you can create an irrevocable pet trust which will only expire after the animal dies?
The state will not touch your estate.
Unless someone challenges your will, and as long as you met the requirements that make the will valid, the state will not have a say in the distribution of your assets. And, because the state will not know your wishes or even try to find out what they are, here is what happens in Montana if you die without a will. The state invokes intestacy laws.
Intestacy is the legal terms for dying without a will, and your estate is intestate in the absence of the will. Under these laws, the following happen?
- Your surviving spouse legally inherits your whole estate, unless:
- You have surviving kids with the named spouse and it your spouse also has kids. In this case, the spouse receives the first $150,000 of your estate and half of what remains.
- If you leave behind kids from your relationship with the named spouse and kids from another relationship, your spouse gets the first $100,000 of the estate and half of the remainder.
- However, in the absence of kids and if survived by a spouse and parents, parents get a share of the estate.
- With no kids, spouse or parents, your next close relatives will inherit your estate.
The validity of the last will
You, the testator must be 18 years or older, of sound mind, and you should sign the will. If you cannot sign the will, someone close to you will sign the will under your directions and in your presence. Two or more adult witnesses should sign the will to acknowledge that you are an adult of sound mind.
The will must be in writing, and you must name your beneficiaries. The state accepts handwritten (holographic) will.
Are you sold on the idea of creating a will early in life? Perhaps you should get one of our free last will and testament forms to get started today! You can get our free forms regardless of your locations – whether you live in Billings, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, Bozeman, Butte, or any other beautiful city of Montana, we've got you.