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How Can You Avoid Probate of an Estate in Wisconsin?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question: How Can You Avoid Probate of an Estate in Wisconsin? Attorney Burton discusses the different methods to avoid probate in the state of Wisconsin and discusses why a Will alone is not enough to avoid probate completely.

Wondering what type of estate planning documents are best for your situation? Download a free copy of my easy estate planning guide. Obtain Your Free Will vs. Trust Estate Planning Guide here.

Transcript of Video: How Can You Avoid Probate of an Estate in Wisconsin?

Today's question is the following how can you avoid probate of an estate in

Wisconsin so this is a good question many people want to avoid probate for

good reason probate is the court administered

process that your estate goes through after death if you have a created a will

during a lifetime or if you have created no will at all you died what we call

intestate meaning without a will then your estate by definition must go through

the probate court process to get to your heirs now as many people know the courts

are overburdened and busy with criminal and other civil matters they do not

really want to deal with probate court matters but if you fail to plan that is

the last option so they will deal with it so you the best way to avoid probate

or as you're asking in this question how can you avoid probate of an estate in

Wisconsin is to plan ahead there's several ways you can avoid probate on

assets if they're financial accounts or other assets you can often use

beneficiary designations and name a transfer on death beneficiary upon your

death for personal property you can use a trust and assign all of your personal

property to the trust and avoid probate upon death same thing with real estate

you can transfer your real estate during life to a trust and avoid probate upon

your death I sometimes tell clients to think about trusts this way a trust is

like a corporation you set up during your lifetime most people can think of

this a Walmart or a Target they go on regardless of who the CEO is and if the

CEO dies right because a corporation has a lifetime that exceeds any one person

well if you set up a trust it's like setting up a special set of rules just

for your personal assets that trust can outlive you distribute

those assets and then go away now there's many different types of trust

but the most commonly used one for estate planning is a revocable living

trust and we set this up as a planning tool to avoid probate upon your death

there's other ways to avoid probate on lots of assets such as jointly titling

assets you can hold them jointly with a spouse or other individual and

things like that now with a spouse I do recommend this as a way to avoid

probate if you're not married to the person talk to your attorney in terms of

whether it's a good idea to co-own real estate and other assets with someone so

in general this is a great question how to avoid probate on an estate in

Wisconsin as a reminder any estate in excess of $50,000 is going to have to go

through a formal probate in Wisconsin if you die so examine your probate assets

and if you have above that amount I recommend you talk with an attorney

about setting up a plan to avoid probate upon your death because in my experience

when clients come into my office if they have gone through a probate for a friend

or loved one they often tell me I don't ever want to go through that again

mainly because it involves government and the court process and usually from 8 to

12 forms you got to fill out just to get it started and for most people it feels

like a big pain and a lot of paperwork not to mention the costs to get the

assets to whomever the loved one that died desired so a great question and

thank you for asking!

© 2020 Burton Law LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired.

For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact the office.

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