30 Aug Off
Many people have questions about the probate process. For example, is probate necessary, and if so, what is the process of probate? Do you need a probate attorney, and how long will the proceedings take?
Whether probate is necessary depends upon how an individual’s assets are held at his or her time of death. Certain types of assets are subject to probate, while other assets are exempt. During the probate process, a personal representative also known as the executor – is appointed to administer the estate, collect and manage assets, pay out creditor claims, and distribute assets to those named under the will.
An attorney is usually necessary to assist the personal representative in administering the probate estate. The attorney educates the personal representative on the tasks and timelines of the process and prepares the pleadings for filing with the court.
The probate usually takes a minimum of five months to administer, depending on the type of assets in question. For example, if a property needs to be sold, the probate may be delayed until the sale is complete. The Wisconsin average is 10-13 months.
An alternative to the probate process is a Small Estate Affidavit for estates with a value of $50,000 or less, which can provide shorter and less expensive administration of an estate. It is important to consult with an attorney to determine if a Small Estate Affidavit is appropriate. There are many ways to avoid probate, some of which are very simple and inexpensive.
Contact the Elder Law Center of Wisconsin at 262-812-6262 for any questions you may have regarding the probate process or how to avoid it.
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