After a person dies, their estate goes through a legal process called probate to handle various aspects of settling and distributing debts and assets.
It is essential to understand how the probate process works in Wisconsin when settling an estate.
What is probate?
This official method ensures proper handling and transference of assets after someone dies. The process aims to carry out the wishes of the deceased person under the law. It also protects the rights of the beneficiaries according to the person’s will. If no will is present, the probate laws of Wisconsin dictate the proceedings.
Does every estate go through probate?
Not all estates need to go through formal probate proceedings. In Wisconsin, small estates with holdings under $50,000 do not require a court handling process. The law requires a legal process supervised by a probate judge if:
- The deceased’s property is more than $50,000
- Anyone contests the will or transfer of assets
- There are disputes between creditors, beneficiaries or others about the asset distribution or terms
How long does probate take?
The process takes between six months and two years. Cases involving large estates or complex issues take longer than smaller, more straightforward cases. Wisconsin law requires that most estates close within 12 to 18 months following the person’s death.
What is does the probate process entail?
Settling an estate under the law requires identifying all the deceased’s assets and debts, notifying beneficiaries and managing creditor claims. The court or estate administrator pays any remaining taxes, debts and funeral costs. Then they distribute property to heirs.
Understanding how to handle probate in court is crucial to secure the desired outcomes and navigate any concerns or disputes.