Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question: "How Do I Start a Wisconsin Business LLC to Handle the Final Matters of a Loved One?"
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I'm Attorney Thomas Burton and today's question is the following:
"How do I start a Wisconsin Business, LLC or Corporation, to handle the final matters of a loved one - Personal representative"
"Hello, in reading Wisconsin statute 857.27, it mentions that personal representatives may form an LLC or corporation to manage the estate. I'm looking for someone with current experience and well-versed in doing this under chapters 181 and 183."
So this person's question is about someone who's passed away. They're the personal representative of the estate and forming a corporation.
Now the probate statutes say you are allowed to set up an LLC or corporation if it is needed to help settle the estate. I can think of a few situations where this would be necessary and would likely involve a larger state with an ongoing business that either wasn't incorporated or needs to be incorporated to wrap up or transfer the business to the next generation.
But not all the states would require a separate corporation like this, in fact, it's unusual and a small state likely wouldn't because the probate court process itself allows you to manage a business and wrap up the affairs of the deceased and setting up the corporation will involve its own filing fees and expenses and attorney fees to do it.
So again, you would want to make sure that assets in the state justified doing so and I'm not saying they don't, I just don't know that information. But if they do, I would look for a probate attorney who also does some business law or a business attorney who knows enough about probate to help you do both, to get the cost savings there or find a law firm who has business and probate attorneys who can work together to handle both the setting up of the corporation and the probate process.
Now like at my office, I do some business and some probate and estate planning, so likely, whatever you need, whether it's the LLC or the C-Corp, we could set it up with your authority as personal representative, manage it on behalf of the estate and keep administering the probate at the same time.
So likely your attorney can help you accomplish this. What I'm saying is just think about if you haven't hired an attorney, think about who's the best hire, has knowledge in these areas, to do both for you. Because some attorneys just focus on probate and handle smaller probates and they wouldn't get into business law type of things like this. Others do both like me, others focus more on business law and not probate.
So you can do it through the probate court process, just think about who you want to hire to help you with it and I think, sitting down and discussing with that attorney, why you want to form the corporation, why you think it's necessary and then your reasoning and your goals and then they can lay out, they can look it over and say, "Yeah, oh this makes sense" for what you're trying to do or maybe there's another way we can go about this and we wouldn't even need to set up the entity and incur those extra expenses.
I don't know the answer but that's the benefit of sitting down with a good attorney, they can look at the whole situation, they've likely seen it before and give you the best advice for your specific situation.
So I salute your initiative in looking at those sections of the statutes and learning more about how you can set up a business entity through the probate court process and I'd encourage you to sit down with an attorney, to move forward with that process.
Thank you for asking such a great question and for the viewers, thank you for tuning in and we'll see you next time.
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