Johnson-Gilchrist Law Firm, P.C.
6336 US Highway 93 South
Whitefish, MT 59937
Phone: (406) 862-3920
Fax: (406) 862-1447



Wills & Probate
Taking care of your Family and your Assets.


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Wills & Probate

A will can help to protect your family and property and allows you to name a trusted person to administer your will and carry out the terms of your will. In Montana, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to state "intestacy" laws. There are some situations where consulting an attorney are important. For example, if you think that your will might be contested or if you want to disinherit an heir or need a trust regarding minor children, it would be wise to speak with an attorney. Living Wills, Advance Health Care Directives, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Statutory Power of Attorney and Trusts, are other estate documents that can be important to discuss with an attorney in preparing for your future needs.

Probate is the legal administrative process of settling an estate whether the decedent died with or without a will. Although the procedure of a probate may seem very detailed and lengthy, it assures that all the property of the deceased is accounted for and all debts and taxes are paid. The Montana Legislature passed the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) that provides rules to simplify probate in a district court. Having an attorney can aid in explaining the regulations, time frames of a probate and proper procedures required by the Court.

Probate proceedings have the following major functions: to determine the validity of and interpret the language of a will; to discover, manage (usually by a personal representative) and protect estate assets until final distribution; to settle claims of any creditors; and if due, to settle federal and state obligations. The probate functions to distribute the decedent’s property to his or her Heirs according to Montana’s law of intestacy and devisees; and to provide a legal method of securing the transfer of ownership for real estate or personal property.

Wills & Probate

A will can help to protect your family and property and allows you to name a trusted person to administer your will and carry out the terms of your will. In Montana, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to state "intestacy" laws. There are some situations where consulting an attorney are important. For example, if you think that your will might be contested or if you want to disinherit an heir or need a trust regarding minor children, it would be wise to speak with an attorney. Living Wills, Advance Health Care Directives, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Statutory Power of Attorney and Trusts, are other estate documents that can be important to discuss with an attorney in preparing for your future needs.

Probate is the legal administrative process of settling an estate whether the decedent died with or without a will. Although the procedure of a probate may seem very detailed and lengthy, it assures that all the property of the deceased is accounted for and all debts and taxes are paid. The Montana Legislature passed the Uniform Probate Code (UPC) that provides rules to simplify probate in a district court. Having an attorney can aid in explaining the regulations, time frames of a probate and proper procedures required by the Court.

Probate proceedings have the following major functions: to determine the validity of and interpret the language of a will; to discover, manage (usually by a personal representative) and protect estate assets until final distribution; to settle claims of any creditors; and if due, to settle federal and state obligations. The probate functions to distribute the decedent’s property to his or her Heirs according to Montana’s law of intestacy and devisees; and to provide a legal method of securing the transfer of ownership for real estate or personal property.

Johnson-Gilchrist Law Firm, P.C.
6336 US Highway 93 South
Whitefish, MT 59937
Phone: (406) 862-3920
Fax: (406) 862-1447
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