Probate & Trust Administration

Our estate planning attorneys help people organize their affairs and establish an efficient plan for the disposition of their assets. When death occurs, our experienced staff of probate and trust administration specialists stands ready to carry out the deceased person’s wishes, which may have been expressed through a will, a revocable trust, beneficiary designations, or a combination of approaches.

Through active participation in state and national associations, our attorneys and paralegals bring a wide variety of skills to the tasks of settling estates and administering trusts, including in-depth knowledge of the probate process, state and federal tax laws, real estate law, trust law, and estate and trust litigation.

We understand that the attorney-client relationship is seldom as personal as when a family places its faith and trust in our ability to assist them after a loved one has died. Depending on a family’s particular circumstances, our attentive staff of attorneys and paralegals is able to provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Identification and valuation of assets.
  • Preparation of an inventory of assets and a formal accounting.
  • Identification and notification of heirs and creditors.
  • Assessment of the validity of claims against the estate or trust.
  • Publication of all required notices.
  • Management and investment of assets.
  • Sale of assets.
  • Payment of debts and expenses of administration.
  • Payment of valid claims of creditors.
  • Filing and payment of federal and state income, estate and gift tax returns.
  • Representation of estate or trust in disputes with taxing authorities.
  • Distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
  • Closure of probate or trust administration.

Founded in 1920, Ruder Ware provides business, employment, estate planning, and litigation services through its offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.  A full-service law firm, over 40 attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware, Business Attorneys for Business Success.

The Early Bird RMD Doesn’t Get the Tax Relief Worm

Posted on April 6, 2020 by and

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) into law on March 27, 2020.  Ruder Ware’s COVID-19 Focus Team provided a summary of the CARES Act in a previous blog post.  In that post, they mentioned that the CARES Act suspends most required […]

How Do You Create a Valid Will in Wisconsin?

Posted on March 31, 2020 by

In our blog post on estate planning in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa Kampmann and I noted that it isn’t possible to create a valid will in Wisconsin without two witnesses, and it isn’t the best practice to create a will without two witnesses and a notary public.  But there’s more to creating […]

Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19

Posted on March 20, 2020 by and

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many people are stocking up on food and other supplies to get them through prolonged periods of quarantine and government-ordered shutdowns.  Schools are closed and in some locations, businesses are also closing doors to visitors.  Yet people are concerned about planning for a potential incapacity or even […]

Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15

Posted on March 20, 2020 by

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced via Twitter that the tax filing deadline for federal income tax returns has been extended by 90 days to July 15, 2020. Earlier this week, the federal government extended the time for individuals and businesses to pay their federal income tax by 90 days, but did not extend the filing […]

Isn’t an Online Financial Power of Attorney Form Good Enough?

Posted on February 27, 2020 by

When people ask me what they can do to make things easier for their loved ones if something happens to them, the first question I ask is if they have power of attorney documents in place. A good financial power of attorney (“POA”) is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have. […]

Getting Started: Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on January 15, 2020 by

For many people, the first time they start thinking about an estate plan is when they start to have family members that depend on them financially – typically, a spouse or a child. Let’s take, for example, a young married couple with young children. The couple may think they need a will, but they might […]

Call to Action: Review Your Estate Plan in Light of the SECURE Act

Posted on January 7, 2020 by

The federal appropriations bill enacted into law on December 20, 2019 changed federal law in ways that may affect your retirement assets, including 401(k) plans and IRAs.  Those changes, often referred to as the “SECURE Act,” may affect you during your lifetime and also the way those retirement assets may be distributed to your beneficiaries […]

Upcoming Travel Plans? How to Temporarily Delegate Parental Authority

Posted on December 19, 2019 by

Picture this: you are lying on the beach in sunny Aruba, thinking about your best friend, Kristin, who valiantly volunteered to watch your three children while you and your spouse got away from the Wisconsin winter for the first time in ages – when all of a sudden you see a hotel staff member racing […]

My spouse is on Medicaid, now what?

Posted on November 14, 2019 by

It is common for a client whose spouse is receiving Medicaid to lack adequate estate planning to protect those Medicaid benefits in the event the client dies before their spouse. Yet, after all of the time and energy spent to qualify for Medicaid, it would be awful to see those benefits lost simply because proper […]

Create Your Digital Estate Plan

Posted on October 9, 2019 by

It seems like our world becomes more digital each day.  We can manage almost every aspect of our lives online.  But, unless you have updated your estate plan in the last few years, chances are good that your estate planning documents do not address what will happen to your electronic documents, e-mails, text messages, blogs, […]

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