TN 14 (10-14)
GN 02315.064 Montana – Small Estates
A. Policy – Montana Small Estates
Montana law permits collection and distribution of small estates under $50,000 by affidavit. Section 72-3-1101 of the Montana Code provides that after 30 days have elapsed since the decedent’s death, any person indebted to the decedent shall make payment of the indebtedness to a person claiming to be the successor of the decedent upon being presented an affidavit made by or on behalf of the successor.
B. Contents of Affidavit
The affidavit must state that:
The value of the entire estate, wherever located, less liens and encumbrances, does not exceed $50,000;
Thirty (30) days have elapsed since the death of the decedent;
No application or petition for the appointment of a personal representative is pending or has been granted in any jurisdiction; and
The claiming successor is entitled to payment.
C. Effect of Affidavit
Section 72-3-1102 of the Montana Code provides that the person paying the successor pursuant to an affidavit is discharged and released to the same extent as if the person dealt with a personal representative of decedent. The person is not required to inquire into the truth of any statement in the affidavit. If any person to whom an affidavit is delivered refuses to pay, payment may be compelled by judicial process. The person to whom the payment is made is answerable and accountable for the property to any personal representative of the estate or any other person having a superior right.