Montana Homestead Declaration (*Important updates, May 2021)
Does Montana Have a Homestead Exemption? – How To File Homestead Rights in Montana
To be eligible to file for protection up to *$350,000 equity protection with a Montana Homestead Declaration, a person‘s property must be his/her primary residence.
A “homestead” is the house or mobile home in which a person lives and the land on which it is erected.
The term “homestead” also includes any improvements to the land, which are legally termed “appurtenances,” like a swimming pool or a fence, etc.
The maximum value of your filed Homestead Declaration is based on the most recent county tax assessor’s valuation of your property, which is at your local county treasurer’s office.
A Declaration of Homestead or Homestead Declaration is a simple legal document that, in times of economic turmoil, can assist you in protecting your house and Montana property for up to $350,000 in Montana.
In cases of the death of the household head, the decedent’s (dead person’s) surviving spouse is entitled to a homestead allowance of $20,000.
A Declaration of Homestead is simply a short form that could prevent the attachment of your land and dwelling by a creditor, but the land and dwelling must be your “bona fide residence.”
Call the county in which you live about securing a Homestead Declaration, which are often free and inexpensive to file.
NOTE: if you use your property as collateral on a loan, the Homestead Declaration does not apply. If you choose not to pay your property taxes or special or rural assessments (SIDs or RIDs) you are not covered by the Declaration of Homestead either.
Here in Montana the Montana Homestead Declaration form is free to download online from many county agencies. Don’t forget to have your Homestead Declaration notarized.
If you decide to purchase a form online, ask for verification that the form you are paying for and downloading has been legally tested. Be careful: anyone can make up a Montana Declaration of Homestead form and offer it online for a fee.
The best course of action is to speak to your county clerk, county recorder, or an attorney.
If you refuse to pay someone you hired to do home or land improvements, the worker can file a mechanic’s lien against your property. If the value of your property exceeds $350,000, creditors may request the district court judge partition the land and sell part or all of it to pay the lien.
If the property under which you have a Homestead Declaration is sold, the individual(s) on the Declaration are protected for the first $350,000 of the sale’s proceeds. Any sale proceeds up to $350,000 are exempt from creditor claims for up to 1 ½ years (18 months).
Check with your state about monetary coverage, but in Montana, a Homestead Declaration protects up to $350,000 in home value against most creditors’ claims. And, please, do not abuse the rights a filed Homestead Declaration form gives you. A Declaration of homestead can be “undone” by filing a Declaration of Abandonment.
States with Homestead Rights: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Try this for additional information on Declaration of Homestead From the State of Montana
*Total amount depends on multiple factors, most importantly the assessed value of your property. Beginning in 2021, the value of a filed Montana Homestead Declaration will increase by 4% every year.