HagEstad Law Group, PLLC logo



(406) 203-9303



(623) 999-1728

Background decorationProtecting Your Legal Interests in Montana & Arizona

Compassionate And Experienced Montana Probate Lawyers

Looking for experienced Montana probate attorneys to help you navigate the probate process? At HagEstad Law Group, PLLC, we have a team of knowledgeable and dedicated attorneys ready to assist you every step of the way.


Years of Combined Experience


Clients Served


of dollars saved for our clients

From the moment I called, very friendly, welcoming, helpful staff,meet with David he was awesome, answered all my concerns and gave me additional advice.I definitely recommend these guys

Natalie Dorsey


David and his staff were very professional and informative. It was a very pleasant experience.

June Cohn


It was a very good experience, first time working with a lawyer to do my will and trust.

Ronald Beckman


What Is the Probate Process in Montana?

When someone passes away, their assets and properties must be converted into an estate before they can be distributed. This legal process is called probate. In Montana, probate courts review and monitor the distribution of estates, and help resolve disputes involving the validity of wills and estate plans, the appointment of a personal representative, identification and valuation of property, payment and identification of debts, tax debt, and distribution of property according to the deceased's wishes or Montana law. With the potential for complications and delays, it's best to consult with a probate lawyer before opening an estate.

Is Probate Required in Montana?

In Montana, the district court of the county where the deceased person resided handles the probate process. However, property held in trust or joint tenancy with the right of survivorship with another person does not require probate. If the deceased owned real property in another state, an "ancillary administration" proceeding in that state may be necessary. At HagEstad Law Group, PLLC, our experienced attorneys can provide guidance and representation throughout the probate process to help ensure that your loved one's wishes are carried out and the transfer of assets is as smooth as possible.

Types Of Probate In Montana

There are several types of probate procedures available under Montana law, including informal proceedings, formal procedures, supervised administration, collection of personal property by affidavit, and small estate summary administrative procedures.

Informal Procedure

In Montana, an application for informal probate or informal appointment of a personal representative can be directed to the clerk of a district court no sooner than 120 hours after the decedent's death. If the clerk determines that all requirements of law have been met, they file the will and appoint the personal representative who can then proceed to settle the estate.

Formal Proceeding

Formal probate may be necessary when no will exists, when the validity of a will may be questioned, or when parties disagree about the appointment of a personal representative or distribution of assets. With formal probate, proceedings are held before a district court judge after notice of the hearing is given to interested persons.

Supervised Administration

This proceeding secures the administration and settlement of a decedent's estate under the continuing authority of the court. Supervised administration can occur in formal or informal probate and extends until the entry of an order approving distribution of the estate, and discharging the personal representative, or other order terminating the proceeding.

Collection of Personal Property by Affidavit

This procedure may be initiated 30 days after a person dies if the value of the entire estate (less liens and encumbrances) does not exceed $50,000. Any devisee or heir may collect the personal property as well as money owed to the decedent by presenting an affidavit to individuals or institutions holding the decedent's real or personal property.

Small Estate Summary Administration

If it appears from an inventory and appraisal that the value of the entire estate (less liens and encumbrances) does not exceed certain thresholds, then a small-estate summary administrative procedure can be used. The personal representative, without giving notice to creditors, may immediately distribute the estate to the persons entitled and file a closing statement. The small estate administrative procedure can begin as soon as five days after the death of the decedent.

What is a Personal Representative In Montana Probate Law?

The personal representative named in your will has the responsibility of settling your estate according to its terms and provisions and Montana law. They may be a family member, friend, attorney, corporate entity, or combination of these. If you die without a will, the Montana Uniform Probate Code (UPC) lists the order in which eligible persons may apply for an appointment as a personal representative.

How Do I Avoid Probate In Montana?

In Montana, probate can be a complicated process, but there are ways to avoid it. Planning before your passing can be one of the best methods. By placing your assets in a revocable living trust, they will automatically transfer to the named beneficiaries without the need for probate. Additionally, assets with listed beneficiaries, such as bank accounts payable on death beneficiaries, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts, won't need to go through probate. Let our experienced Montana probate attorneys help guide you through the process and find the best solution for your unique situation.

Probate & Estate Settlement Forms in Montana

Probate is mostly about filling out forms. Here is a comprehensive list of forms you may encounter when going through probate in Montana:

  • Certificate of Filing Will
  • Petition of probate
  • Notice to creditors
  • Bond or Waiver of Bond
  • List of Interested Persons
  • Filing Inventory & Appraisal
  • Ongoing/annual accounting
  • Notice to beneficiaries (consent ‘all's good’ before close)
  • Filing for the close of probate
  • Release of liability & responsibility
HaGestad Law Group, PLLC

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!

Our attorneys can answer your questions and provide the legal advice you need to make informed decisions.

Background decoration

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!

Our attorneys can answer your questions and provide the legal advice you need to make informed decisions.

Our Probate Legal Process: Guiding You Through a Smooth Estate Settlement

Losing a loved one is a challenging time, and dealing with the legalities of probate can add further complexity to the situation. At HagEstad Law Group, PLLC, we understand the importance of a smooth and efficient probate process.

Our Estate & Probate Law Legal Process

Initial Consultation

During this meeting, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the probate process, answer any questions you may have, and assess the best approach.

Gathering Necessary Documents

Next, we assist you in collecting all the necessary documents required for the probate process. This may include the decedent's will, financial statements, property deeds, and any other relevant paperwork.

Filing the Probate Petition

Once we have gathered all the essential documents, we prepare and file the probate petition with the appropriate court.

Estate Inventory and Appraisal

To determine the value of the estate, we collaborate with professional appraisers and experts to conduct a thorough inventory of assets. 

Addressing Outstanding Debts and Taxes

We work diligently to identify and address any outstanding debts or tax obligations of the estate. Our team will communicate with creditors and negotiate settlements when necessary.

Distributing Assets and Closing the Estate

Once all debts, taxes, and expenses have been resolved, we guide the distribution of assets according to the decedent's wishes or applicable laws. 

Why Put Your Trust In Us?

Why Choose HagEstad Law Group Probate Lawyers?

At HagEstad Law Group, PLLC, we are dedicated to providing our clients with personalized and high-quality legal services in Montana probate law. Here are some reasons why you should choose us for your probate needs:


Experience and Skill

Our attorneys are highly experienced and well-versed in Montana probate law, ensuring that you receive knowledgeable guidance for your specific case.


Personalized Approach

We understand that each client's situation is unique. That's why we take a tailored approach, addressing your individual needs and goals throughout the probate process.


Effective Communication

We value prompt and clear communication with our clients. You can rely on us to keep you informed and updated every step of the way.

G. Patrick HagEstad

G. Patrick HagEstad

G. Patrick HagEstad

  • Licensed in Arizona and Montana
  • AV Preeminent Rated in Litigation, Insurance, and Professional liability by Martindale-Hubbell
David J. HagEstad

David J. HagEstad

David J. HagEstad

  • Licensed in Arizona, Montana, and Texas.
  • President of Surprise Professional Center Office Condo Association
David J. HagEstad

Brien B. Birge

Brien B. Birge

  • Licensed in Arizona and Montana
  • Specialized in Estate Planning & Insurance Litigation

Meet Our Montana Probate Attorneys

At the HagEstad Law Group, we are proud to introduce our team of skilled and compassionate Montana probate attorneys. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in probate law and estate planning and are committed to helping our clients navigate the complex legal process with ease. With a client-focused approach, our team strives to provide personalized solutions tailored to meet each individual's needs. 

Saved Millions

of client's money

Extensive Track Record

of Achieving Client Goals


Clients Served


Years of Combined Experience

Got Legal Needs? Tell Us About Them!

At HagEstad Law Group, PLLC, we are here to help you with all your legal needs.

We understand that legal issues can be complex and overwhelming, but you don't have to navigate them alone!

Contact HagEstad Law Group Today!

Discuss your legal needs with us.

* Communication through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and HagEstad Law Group, PLLC



When Can You Use a Simplified Probate Process?

Arrow icon

Montana law provides for a simplified probate process for smaller estates valued at $50,000 or less. This streamlined process allows our probate attorneys to file a series of written documents and affidavits to the district court clerk, without having to go through the hassle of probate court. As long as the will is uncontested, the district court clerk will process the paperwork, and there will be no need to attend a hearing.

Do I always have to go through Probate in Montana?

Arrow icon

The larger your estate, the more likely you are to have to go through probate – particularly if you own real estate in Montana. Probate usually happens when the will wasn't written well, the assets are complex and high value, the proper heir is debated, there are disputes over how to divide certain assets, the heir or beneficiary is still a minor or real estate is involved.

How Long Does Probate in Montana Take?

Arrow icon

Probate timelines vary in Montana, depending on the size of the estate and if there are any disputes or other delays. In a small estate with no complications, it can be completed in as little as six months. Other probate cases will take up to a year. If the situation is complicated by a major dispute, it can last for several years.