Montana Will Statute

The statute governing Will requirements in Montana is title 72 estates, trusts and fiduciary relationships:
72-2-523. Writings intended as wills. Although a document or writing added upon a document was not executed in compliance with 72-2-522, the document or writing is treated as if it had been executed in compliance with that section if the proponent of the document or writing establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent intended the document or writing to constitute: (1) the decedent’s will; (2) a partial or complete revocation of the will; (3) an addition to or an alteration of the will; or (4) a partial or complete revival of the decedent’s formerly revoked will or of a formerly revoked portion of the will. 72-2-525. Who may witness. (1) An individual generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will. (2) The signing of a will by an interested witness does not invalidate the will or any provision of it. 72-2-526. Choice of law as to execution. A written will is valid if executed in compliance with 72-2-522 or 72-2-523 or if its execution complies with the law at the time of execution of the place where the will is executed or of the law of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode, or is a national. 72-2-530. Incorporation by reference. A writing in existence when a will is executed may be incorporated by reference if the language of the will manifests this intent and describes the writing sufficiently to permit its identification. 72-2-531. Testamentary additions to trusts. (1) (a) A will may validly devise property to the trustee of a trust established or to be established: (i) during the testator’s lifetime by the testator, by the testator and some other person, or by some other person, including a funded or unfunded life insurance trust, although the settlor has reserved any or all rights of ownership of the insurance contracts; or (ii) at the testator’s death by the testator’s devise to the trustee if the trust is identified in the testator’s will and its terms are set forth in a written instrument, other than a will, executed before, concurrently with, or after the execution of the testator’s will or in another individual’s will if that other individual has predeceased the testator, regardless of the existence, size, or character of the corpus of the trust. (b) The devise is not invalid because the trust is amendable or revocable or because the trust was amended after the execution of the will or the testator’s death. (2) Unless the testator’s will provides otherwise, property devised to a trust described in subsection (1) is not held under a testamentary trust of the testator but it becomes a part of the trust to which it is devised and must be administered and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the governing instrument setting forth the terms of the trust, including any amendments thereto made before or after the testator’s death. (3) Unless the testator’s will provides otherwise, a revocation or termination of the trust before the testator’s death causes the devise to lapse. 72-2-534. Contracts concerning succession. (1) A contract to make a will or devise or not to revoke a will or devise or to die intestate, if executed after July 1, 1975, may be established only by: (a) provisions of a will stating material provisions of the contract; (b) an express reference in a will to a contract and extrinsic evidence proving the terms of the contract; or (c) a writing signed by the decedent evidencing the contract. (2) The execution of a joint will or mutual wills does not create a presumption of a contract not to revoke the will or wills.

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