The Price of Probate in Montana


Are you curious about the expenses associated with probate in Montana? Delve into our informative guide that covers all the details about probate fees in this region.


The process of distributing an estate owner’s property after they’ve passed is known as probate, which is a customary legal procedure in Montana. However, probate is not required in all cases of estate administration. Although the probate process in Montana shares similarities with other states, there are often inquiries about the average costs involved. The actual expenses depend on various factors, including but not limited to:


  • The complexity and size of the estate
  • Potential challenges to the Will from heirs
  • Type of estate plans in place
  • Involvement of a probate attorney


Usual Probate Costs in Montana


While the range of probate expenses can be wide, there are some common fees that arise during most probate proceedings in Montana. Here are some typical costs you might encounter:


  • Court and filing fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Compensation for the Personal Representative – In accordance with Montana state law, Executor fees are limited to five percent (though compensation is often treated similarly to reasonable compensations in other states)
  • Various professional fees


Frequently Asked Questions About Probate in Montana


How Long Does Probate Last in Montana?


On average, probate in Montana takes anywhere from around six months to a year for the settlement of a typical estate. Larger and more complex estates can extend to several years, while simpler estates might be processed more swiftly.


What is the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) in Montana?


Montana is one of the 18 states that have embraced the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). The UPC was designed to establish a standardized national framework for probate procedures. Under the code, probate proceedings fall into three categories:


  • Informal
  • Unsupervised
  • Supervised formal


How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Montana?


Due to the variations in pricing, it is challenging to provide an exact dollar figure for probate attorney fees in Montana. While some probate attorneys charge an hourly rate, others opt for a flat fee. Montana is among a select few states that permit attorneys to charge a fixed percentage based on the estate’s value.


Are There Ways to Avoid Probate in Montana?


Many individuals prefer to avoid probate due to its potential complexities, time consumption, and stress. If you wish to bypass probate in Montana, consider implementing any of the following strategies:


  • Establishing a Revocable Living Trust
  • Titling property in Joint Tenancy
  • Creating or titling assets as Transfer on Death (TOD) or Payable on Death (POD)


Keep in mind that estates falling below the “small estate” threshold may be able to avoid probate altogether or go through a streamlined version of the process.


What is Defined as a Small Estate in Montana?


In Montana, an estate valued at less than $15,000, without a Will, and when the decedent was not married, can utilize the summary probate procedure. It is important to note that the state does not offer an Affidavit procedure for small estates.


Who Bears the Cost of Probate Fees in Montana?


In Montana, probate lawyer fees, along with most other expenses, are typically paid from the funds of the estate.


We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with the information you were seeking regarding the cost of probate in Montana.