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Montana Small Estate Affidavit | Collection of Personal Property by Affidavit

A Montana small estate affidavit is a legal document that gives the holder the right to collect property previously owned by a deceased person. It provides a more straightforward, quicker alternative to the traditional probate process for transferring ownership of the decedent's assets to heirs and successors.
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How to File (4 steps)

1. Wait 30 Days

At least 30 days must have passed before the affidavit can be effective. As the day approaches, verify that there is not a pending application to appoint a personal representative. This may be done by checking with the probate court in the county where the decedent lived. To find the correct court, use this Court Locator.

2. Identify Property

First, make a list of all personal property in the estate. This includes movable possessions and bank accounts, but not land or fixtures. If seeking to transfer ownership of a motor vehicle, Form MV-12, an Application for Title of Vehicle by Right of Survivorship, is also required.
Add up their value to ensure that it totals less than $100,000. If the decedent had a will, the assets should be distributed in the fashion it describes. If not, they should be distributed according to the state’s intestate succession laws.

3. Fill out the Affidavit

If there are multiple heirs or successors entitled to different items, it may be necessary to fill out multiple times. Make sure to have each one notarized. Only those who are entitled to the property may fill out the affidavit.

4. Collect the Property

Once the affidavit is filled out and notarized, it provides the holder with a legal right to collect personal property. If someone is in possession of the personal property named in the affidavit and refuses to part with it when shown the form, it may be necessary to consult with an attorney.