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AARP Montana hosts Tele-Town Hall series on estate planning with Dr. Marsha Goetting

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Montana State University Extension is collaborating with AARP Montana for a three-part Tele-Town Hall estate planning series starting in October and running through January. The series is presented by Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist and professor at MSU. Dr. Goetting said that, for some Montanans, estate planning can be one of the most important and confusing decisions they make in their lives. It raises questions of personal legacy and how to assure the right people receive one’s property after death.

Shortly before each Tele-Town Hall begins, AARP Montana will start calling out to Montana members.

Dates and topics for the Tele-Town Halls follow:

Estate Planning 3-Part Monthly Tele-Town Hall Series featuring Marsha Goetting

  • Event 1: What determines who gets your property when you die?
    Description: The property of Montanans who do not have a will is distributed according to the “law of intestate succession.” Montanans need to understand how this law and how they title their property intertwine to determine who receives it upon their death.  Make sure the assets you have worked so hard to attain go to the “right” people instead of those on the intestate succession list.
  • Event 2: What are some legal ways to avoid probate?
    Description: Want to save more money for your heirs?  Beneficiary designations on your assets can allow you to pass property to your heirs without probate.  Montanans can add Payable on Death (POD) designations checking and savings accounts, and CDs at banks and credit unions. You can place Transfer on Death (TOD) registrations on your stocks, bonds, and mutual funds accounts.  You can file a Transfer on Death Deeds (TODD) on your real property and avoid probate.  Learn how these designations over-ride a written will.
  • Event 3: What you can do with a will and what you can’t! 
    Description: Learn when a written will works and when it does not.  Become aware of the basic provisions an attorney includes in a will. Learn about a special program that you can use if you are 60 and over or disabled to write a will at no cost.  Learn about the meaning of phrases in wills such as, “right of representation” or “per stirpes.”

There are three additional ways to participate in the live event:

Those unable to join a tele-town hall, can listen to the recorded call on AARP Montana’s Facebook page or here:

More information about Estate Planning for Montanans and all the resources available from MSU Extension can be found online at: For those who do not have computer access, hard copies of online documents are available from county Extension or reservation offices.

Contact: Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist,

Need help preparing End-of-Life documents? Montana Legal Services and the Legal Services Developer Program are there to help! You can get free or reduced fee access to an attorney who can help you with your end of life documents, like a will, power of attorney and living will. Download a flyer with more information >>

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