Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Kaleena Miller


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  • MSU Extension Office: Selecting an Attorney in Montana to Develop an Estate Plan or Administer an Estate (Probate)

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|May 8, 2024

    This article is one in a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. The authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. When selecting an attorney to help you develop your estate plan, you want one who is well-informed about Montana will, trust laws, and other legal tools. You want the attorney to develop an estate plan tailored to your needs by considering your age, health, family,...

  • MSU Extension Office: When is Your Contingency Day?

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Mar 6, 2024

    This is part of a monthly series of estate and legacy planning articles. Authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, goetting@montana.edu. Anniversaries are for celebrating special occasions. An anniversary could also be designated as a “Contingency Day,” a time for couples to re-examine their financial lives and their legacy plans for their survivors. Whom have you left your assets to after you are gone? Are those the peo...

  • MSU Extension: Who Are We and What Do We Do?

    KALEENA MILLER and MERISSA FORD|Feb 14, 2024

    If you drive past 103 West Legion Ave in Whitehall, you might notice the MSU Extension office in the old Bordens Hotel. If you're wondering what it is exactly that we do, the easiest answer might be to explain what we don't do. We are currently a team of three, Kaleena Miller serving as our Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, Merissa Ford serving as our 4-H and Youth Development Extension Agent, and Sadie Gooch serving as our Program Assistant. In a nutshell, we provide education...

  • MSU Extension Discusses Authorization for Release of Electronically Stored Information

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING|Jan 10, 2024

    This article is one in a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. Authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu, E. Edwin Eck, Professor Emeritus, Allexander Blewett III School of Law, University of Montana. In this digital age, many people keep only electronic copies of their electronic communications, namely, email messages, text messages, instant messages, and other electronic commu...

  • Strength Training Program for Seniors

    KALEENA MILLER, MSU Extension|Jan 3, 2024

    For many of us, exercising alone isn’t as enjoyable as doing it with others. For the past three months, community members have gathered at the Assembly of God Church in Whitehall to exercise together. For one hour, twice a week, you can find these fit folks moving around with dumbbells and ankle weights – doesn’t that sound fun? MSU Extension brought this strength training program to Whitehall after community members voiced interest in it, expanding upon the newly launched programs in Sheridan and Ennis. The class is open to all, there is no...

  • MSU Extension: Use an MSA as a Holiday Gift & Legacy

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Dec 6, 2023

    This is one in a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. The authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. Montanans can open a Medical Care Savings Account (MSA) or make deposits into existing MSAs before Dec. 31 and reduce their state income taxes for 2023, according to Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist. MSA account holders may deposit up to $4,500 to use...

  • MSU Extension: Hackers and Your Legacy

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Nov 8, 2023

    This is one in a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. The authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. “The FBI is warning about “phantom hacker” scams targeting seniors nationwide and stealing their life savings,” says Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent. From January to June 2023 there were 19,000 tech scams reported to the FBI with more than $542 million...

  • MSU Extension: Montana Common Law Marriage and Estate Planning

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Oct 4, 2023

    This article is one in a series focusing on estate and legacy planning. The authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. “Couples living together should be aware that a court could later find their actions constitute a marriage,” says Marsha Goetting MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist. “They should be careful not to hold themselves out as married unless they are willing to accept the possi...

  • MSU Extension Office: Alphabet Soup Estate Planning: FETs, MSAs, PODs, TODs, and BDs

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, Madison Jefferson County Extension|Sep 13, 2023

    This is one of a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. Authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha A. Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. During her estate planning meetings across the state, Dr. Goetting is often asked, "How do I avoid paying death taxes?" Dodging the Montana death tax is easy, says Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist Goetting. Montana has not had an inheritance tax since 2...

  • MSU Extension: Testamentary Trusts Have Advantages

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Aug 9, 2023

    A testamentary trust is one that is set up according to the instructions contained in a last will and testament. The owner’s property, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, home, bank or credit union accounts, and certificates of deposits, must first pass-through probate or bypass probate by naming the testamentary trust as the beneficiary. A will is an instrument that sets up the testamentary trust, however, so the will must go through the probate process. According to Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist, the personal r...

  • Strong People, Strong Bodies Strength Training Program

    KALEENA MILLER, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Office|Jul 26, 2023

    Join us for an informational meeting about these strength training classes, Strong People, Strong Bodies - A Strength Training Program. These classes are designed for mid-life and older adults and include progressive resistance training, balance training, and flexibility exercises. Classes will be held 1-2 times per week for 10-12 weeks (September 2023-November 2023), led by Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent. The first informational meeting will be held at 10 AM Friday,...

  • MSU Extension Office: Tax-Free Savings Accounts for Disabled Individuals

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Jul 5, 2023

    The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) became federal law on December 19, 2014. The Montana legislature the passed an act by the same title. An ABLE is a savings account allowing a person with a disability to save money without risking a decrease in state and federal benefits. The law aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making these tax-free saving accounts available to cover qualified disability expenses. The designated beneficiary of an ABLE account is the individual who owns the ABLE account....

  • MSU Extension Office: Succession & Transfer Planning

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Jun 21, 2023

    This is a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. Authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. An important goal for Montana farm/ranch family enterprises is to transfer land and business to the next generation. “The process is challenging because it includes a complex web of economic, legal, and family decisions,” says Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Spe...

  • MSU Extension Office: Common Law Marriage Estate Planning

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING|Mar 29, 2023

    This is one of a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. The authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, goetting@montana.edu John and Mary, an unmarried couple, lived together for 15 years prior to John’s death. They never obtained a marriage license or had a wedding. John had two children from a previous marriage while Mary had no children. They did not have any children together. All property was in J...

  • MSU Extension: Why Have a Will?

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Mar 1, 2023

    While writing a will is not number one on everyone’s to-do list, there are valid reasons for doing so. “People often avoid thinking about wills because a writing one means a they have to deal with attitudes and feelings about death, property ownership, business arrangements, marriage and family relationships that they or other family members may not be ready to think about,” says Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist. People who have experienced the death of a family member agree it is worth investing time and money to av...

  • MSU Extension: Is Your Inventory Up to Date for Estate Planning Purposes?

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Feb 8, 2023

    Is your home inventory up to date for estate planning purposes? “I remember when I made my first list; it seemed to take forever” said Marsha Goetting MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist. “But just in case the rental house burned down, or a tornado struck (living in Kansas at the time) we would have a record of what we owned for insurance purposes.” “Looking back, because we were just starting out the list was short compared to now. Thank goodness making a household inventory for insurance and estate planning purposes today is much easier...

  • MSU Extension: Gift While Alive or After Death?

    KALEENA MILLER AND MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Jan 4, 2023

    This is a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. The authors are Kaleena Miller, MSU Extension Madison-Jefferson County Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. “Property owners have several decisions to make when it comes to estate planning, and one of those is whether to give property to their heirs before or after death,” says Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist. In deciding whether to make a gift before dea...

  • MSU Extension: Gifting a Living Legacy

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING|Dec 7, 2022

    This is a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. Authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, goetting@montana.edu. Take a moment during this busy holiday season to think about estate planning from a “gifting while you are alive” perspective. Some Montanans have stated they have received the greatest satisfaction when they gift some assets before they pass on so they can watch their children and gra...

  • MSU Extension: What You Need to Know About Cremation

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU and Madison Jefferson County Extension|Nov 9, 2022

    According to a report from the National Funeral Directors Association, Montana’s cremation rate is well above the national average of 58 percent. In 2021, 79 percent of people who died in the state were cremated. To address the rise in interest in cremations, MSU Extension has developed a MontGuide on the topic. According to Kaleena Miller, MSU Madison/Jefferson County agent, the MontGuide answers questions such as: Does my body have to be embalmed? Is a casket required? How can my family be assured the ashes given to them are mine? Which s...

  • MSU Extension: Exploring Montana Body Donation Program

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension Agents|Oct 12, 2022

    This is a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. Authors are Kaleena Miller, MSU Extension Madison-Jefferson County Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. The Legislature has authorized the Attorney General’s Office to set up and support an End-of-Life Registry website for Montana citizens. The goal is to provide a place for citizens to securely store their advance directives online and to give authorized health care providers i...

  • MSU Extension Office: Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Sep 7, 2022

    This is a series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. Authors are Kaleena Miller, MSU Extension Madison-Jefferson County Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, marsha.goetting@montana.edu. If you have been in the hospital during the past few years, you know about a POLST. If not, you may ask, what is POLST? POLST is short for Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. It is a medical order indicating treatment preferences for a person who has a life-threatening...

  • One Time $5,000 ARPA Grants Available to Food Commodity Producers

    KALEENA MILLER, MSU Extension|Aug 31, 2022

    Jefferson County commissioners have allocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for a one-time $5,000 grant to food commodity producers that sold at least $2,500 in 2020. To qualify for the grant, the business or individual must employ less than 5 people, have ownership (or a long-term lease) of agricultural land and/or livestock, and have food commodity sales receipts from 2020 for a minimum of $2,500 dollars. Producers interested in applying for the grant can contact Leah Lewis at leah.lewis@jldcmt.com. More information on ARPA...

  • MSU Extension: Exploring Montana Body Donation Program

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Aug 17, 2022

    For the last 41 years, Montanans have donated their bodies to the Montana Body Donation Program (MBDP). Some Montanans are motivated by the desire to make a contribution to medical education. Others donate because they want to recognize the value and importance of using bodies for educating present and future health professionals about human anatomy. These include doctors, nurses, dentists, physician’s assistants, physical therapists, and students. Still, others donate because of their hope that knowledge will be gained to help future p...

  • Extension Office: Discussing Testamentary Trusts

    KALEENA MILLER and MARSHA GOETTING, MSU Extension|Jul 6, 2022

    This is part of monthly series of articles focusing on estate and legacy planning. Authors are Kaleena Miller, Madison-Jefferson County Extension Agent, kaleena.miller1@montana.edu, and Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist, goetting@montana.edu. A person can create a testamentary trust with a written will says MarshaGoetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist. A testamentary trust is one that is set up according to the instructions contained in a person’s last will and testament. The owner’s property, such as sto...

  • Extension Office: Transferring Your Farm or Ranch to the Next Generation

    KALEENA MILLER, MSU Extension|Jun 15, 2022

    Talk with almost any Montana family farm and ranch enterprise and you will find one of goal is to transfer land and businesses to the next generation. “The process can be challenging to all members of the family,” says Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist. “Some families may avoid the process completely because of the economic, legal, and family decision complexities. Others may start the process but abandon it to avoid conflicts that can arise from differences in goals, values, and feelings of fairness among family membe...

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