An Overview Of Estate Planning And Probate
Today, many people have complex estates, owning multiple pieces of property or a business, or having blended families. In addition, as we age, we must be thoughtful about health care and financial decisions to be made on our behalf. Developing a plan for your estate is the smart and thoughtful thing to do for your heirs. Our estate planning attorneys counsel clients in the best way to carry out their wishes with estate plans using basic documents such as wills, trusts, medical power of attorney, durable power of attorney and marital property agreements. In addition, we use more sophisticated approaches to protect your assets such as irrevocable life insurance trusts, family-limited partnerships and charitable foundations, all of which may have favorable tax implications for you. We will tailor a plan that is specific and personal to your unique estate planning needs and wishes and will minimize disputes among your beneficiaries.
The goal of having a well-executed estate plan is to avoid having your plans or wishes contested in probate. Probate is the court process by which a will is proved valid or invalid and the legal process wherein the estate of a decedent is administered. If the decedent left a will directing how his or her property should be distributed after death, the probate court must determine if it should be admitted to probate and given legal effect. If the decedent died intestate — without a will — the court will appoint a personal representative to distribute the decedent’s property according to the laws of descent and distribution. These laws direct the distribution of assets based on hereditary succession.
Our representation doesn’t end with the documents, but continues in assisting the family or beneficiaries in the administration of a decedent’s estate or trust as a probate attorney.
We invite you to contact our firm to schedule a consultation with our lawyers by calling 608-535-4303 or 866-363-4879. If you prefer, get started by sending us an email via our online contact form. Offices in Oshkosh and Madison, Wisconsin.