Probate is the judicial process that can occur when someone dies. It basically determines “who” gets “what”. If you die without a will or trust, your estate will likely need to be probated. Even if you have a will, it doesn’t avoid the time and cost of probating an estate. A great way to avoid the probate process is through the use of a living trust. A living trust is similar to a Will, but when properly funded, it avoids the probate process. You can see the advantages of a living trust in the attached PDF found here.
Probating an estate is a lengthy and costly process. From the beginning of the process until the end, it will often take a minimum of 8 months to over 1 year. For some estates, the probate process can go on for several years resulting in even more court appearances and even more additional cost. In all probate matters, the distribution of assets to your loved ones will be delayed.
If you die without a will or trust, or even with just a will, probate may cost your family thousands.
When you have been doing this for as long as I have, you see the good and bad come out in family members, especially when they are settling an estate. For example, I have seen siblings steal from one another, others take things they weren’t entitled to, commit fraud, and even sue one another.
THREE EASY STEPS
Send an email to: David.Watson@WatsonAtLaw.com or call me at 414-491-3283.
You will then be sent our estate planning worksheet to complete before we meet.
Schedule an appointment to meet to go over your situation where I will analyze and make recommendations.
Does not include complex estate tax planning, generation-skipping trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, or special needs trusts.
**No charge for Deed transfers in Wisconsin but you will need to pay recording fees. Other states may require the services of an attorney in that state.
Our mailing address is:
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Mequon, WI 53097