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.

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, […]

My Parents Want to Leave My Son With Special Needs an Inheritance…Will He Lose His Benefits?

Posted on August 28, 2019 by

Leaving an inheritance to a loved one with special needs who is or will be receiving government benefits (SSI, medical assistance, long term care services) is tricky and can have unintended negative consequences if not done carefully. Well-meaning gifts may result in the loved one (who I will refer to as the “Special Needs Beneficiary”) […]

Long-Term Care Insurance – Is it an Option for You?

Posted on July 17, 2019 by

As our aging population grows so does the cost of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care services.  Contrary to popular belief, Medicare will only cover certain short-term stays and typically will not cover non-rehabilitative long-term care.  This leaves many elderly and disabled individuals with few options for covering costs.  Often, at first, family […]

Is My IRA Safe From the Nursing Home?

Posted on June 11, 2019 by

After working and saving, clients are concerned that unexpected costs will become unplanned for drains on their Retirement Accounts (e.g, 401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, 403(b), etc.). As the need to pay for nursing home care nears, those concerns grow and questions begin to be asked about whether retirement accounts are safe from the nursing home. […]

Who Gets Your Property if You Die Without a Will?

Posted on May 16, 2019 by

Some clients decide to hire an attorney to prepare their estate planning documents because they do not like the default laws in Wisconsin about who gets their property if they die without a will.  In Wisconsin, if you die without a will, or your will doesn’t give all of your property away, your property will […]

Myth Busters: Dispelling 5 Myths About Medicaid’s Long-Term Care Coverage

Posted on March 12, 2019 by

Did you know that Medicaid is the largest source of funding for nursing home care?  Medicaid, often called Medical Assistance or Title 19, has many rules that are confusing, and thus a mystery to many people.  Even more of a mystery surrounds the idea that you can protect your assets and still be eligible for […]

More Insights...