Montana State University

MSU Extension “Dying Without a Will” materials available

February 14, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – Given that seven out of 10 Montanans die without writing a will, Montana State University Extension has developed materials to educate people about what happens to their property if they die without a will.

The information can be accessed at:, or by obtaining a free CD from MSU Extension.

By clicking through a series of yes-or-no questions on the website, Montanans can see on a simple family tree how Montana law distributes their if property if they pass away without writing a will, said Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist. The CD is just as straightforward, Goetting added. 

“The web or CD information shows that your hard-earned assets could go to someone you wouldn't expect,” Goetting said. “That can be a real motivation to write a will. It gives you some control.”

The 39 examples in the CD describe typical family situations, but if a family scenario is not illustrated, Montanans can contact Goetting for more information.

For those who have already familiarized themselves with Extension’s “Dying Without a Will” materials, Goetting said they are still up to date, as the legislature has not changed any of the pertinent statutes since the CD was developed.

Montanans can order the CD for free by contacting Goetting via email at, calling (406) 994-3511, or writing to MSU, P.O. Box 172800, Bozeman, 59717, or ordering online at: Additional copies for family members may also be ordered.

Contact: Marsha Goetting, (406) 994-5695,