A surviving spouse in Montana has important rights and benefits, including:
- Homestead Allowance
- Exempt Property
- Spousal Allowance
- Elective Share Rights
Surviving Spouse Rights If There Is No Valid Will – Intestate Estate
If a decedent dies without a valid will, they have died intestate. An intestate estate is governed by Montana state law. The widow’s share of the intestate estate depends on decedent’s other survivors.
- Entire estate: If decedent has no descendant or surviving parent, OR has descendants surviving, all of whom are descendants of the spouse, and the spouse has no separate descendants, then the surviving spouse has the right to the entire intestate estate.
- Partial estate: The surviving spouse is entitled to $200,000 plus 3/4 of the balance if decedent has surviving parents but no surviving descendants. The surviving spouse is entitled to $150,000 plus 1/2 of the balance if all of decedent’s surviving descendants are those of the spouse and the spouse has one or more separate descendants surviving. The surviving spouse is entitled to $100,000 plus 1/2 the balance if one or more surviving descendants of decedent are not those of the surviving spouse.