Wisconsin Probate & Trust Administration Attorneys

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process by which a person’s assets are transferred after their death, whether they had a Will or not. The process is supervised by the court and designed to protect anyone with a legal interest in the deceased person’s estate. Not all assets are required to go through probate, and one of our first tasks when administering an estate is to determine what — if anything– is subject to the probate process.

While some people are comfortable navigating the probate process on their own, others prefer to engage the services of an attorney to handle the legal proceedings.

Types of Proceedings

There are many different types of probate and asset transfer procedures that can be used to transfer assets from a decedent. Eaton Law can help you navigate any type of post-death proceeding, including:

  • Informal Probate
  • Formal Probate
  • Termination of Decedent’s Interest in Jointly Held Property
  • Termination of Decedent’s Life Estate
  • Termination of Decedent’s Marital Property Interest
  • Transfer by Affidavit for Estates Less than $50,000 in Value
  • Transfer On Death/Payable on Death Designations
  • Beneficiary Designations

Trust Administration

A trust is legal device used to hold and manage money and property. The person who creates a trust is called the settlor or the grantor. Your loved one may have set up a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust which requires administration after their death. Or, the decedent may have set up a testamentary trust in their will. A trust can provide for distributions upon the settlor’s death, or, for example, when beneficiaries reach a certain age. Special provisions can be included for a beneficiary who has disabilities. Each trust is unique, but they all have one thing in common: assets held in a trust do not have to go through probate. Instead, most trusts are administered without the involvement of the court. If you have been named the trustee of your loved one’s trust, we can help guide you through the trust administration process.

Contested Matters

Unfortunately, not every probate or trust administration goes smoothly. Sometimes estate planning documents are challenged based on the decedent’s competency or on the basis of undue influence. Other times, the person administering the estate or trust does not fulfill their obligations in accordance with the law, or breaches their duty to the heirs or beneficiaries.

Whether you are a Personal Representative, Executor, Trustee, heir, or beneficiary, Eaton Law can represent your interests in an estate-related dispute. Many estate/probate lawyers are not experienced in litigation. Having both probate and litigation attorneys, our firm is uniquely qualified to handle contentious estate matters.

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