Probate & Trust Administration

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.

Protecting Your Inheritance

Posted on September 20, 2021 by

So you’ve received an inheritance and you’re married. The person who left you the inheritance probably intended for it to benefit you, not your spouse, if you get divorced. How do you protect the inheritance? Wisconsin law provides limited protection.  Under Wisconsin’s Marital Property Act, which governs the classification of assets during marriage and on […]

Estate Planning Considerations for Unmarried Individuals

Posted on September 1, 2021 by

Estate planning is a process that must be customized to fit each individual’s unique situation.  Each individual has their own priorities and issues to address.  The priorities and issues for an unmarried individual are often different than those for married couples.  Some of the common priorities and issues that arise in estate planning for unmarried […]

Add “Powers of Attorney” to Your College Student’s Back-to-School Checklist

Posted on August 4, 2021 by

If you’re preparing to send a child off to college this fall, you should add two documents to your back-to-school checklist: (1) a power of attorney for health care, and (2) a durable power of attorney for finances.  Without these two documents, you may not have the authority to make health care decisions or manage […]

Step-By-Step Overview of Probate

Posted on July 22, 2021 by

“Probate” is a legal term for the Court process of transferring assets out of a deceased person’s name and to that person’s heirs and/or beneficiaries.  The difference between the term “heir” and the term “beneficiary” is that an heir is someone who is entitled to receive the assets of a deceased person who died without […]

Plan Ahead to Make Summer Memories at the Family Cabin Last Forever

Posted on June 16, 2021 by

Summertime is a special time of year in Wisconsin.  It brings many families to cabins where they create memories and traditions that will be cherished forever.  However, many problems arise if families do not create a plan for the future ownership and management of the family cabin.  The cabin may be subject to the claims […]

IRS Releases Publication on RMDs for Inherited Retirement Benefits (and, of course, creates confusion)

Posted on April 19, 2021 by and

Ruder Ware’s Trusts & Estates blog has featured several posts (for example, Call to Action: Review Your Estate Plan in Light of the SECURE Act and Why SECURE Act Matters to You) on the SECURE Act, a federal law effective January 1, 2020,  that made significant changes to the payout provisions of inherited retirement benefits, […]

Proposed Gift and Estate Tax Changes Mean Some May Need to Act Now

Posted on April 9, 2021 by and

In the United States Congress, there is an arduous journey before a bill becomes law.  See the classic School House Rock! video, “I’m Just a Bill.”  But there is a common theme running through some gift and estate tax bills that have been introduced in Congress this year.  That is: an appropriate way to raise […]

Adult Guardianship 101

Posted on March 17, 2021 by

Our team here at Ruder Ware has focused previous blogs and other educational materials on ways to avoid adult guardianship (see Related Articles section at the end of my post); however, there may be some instances where guardianship is unavoidable.  Earlier this month, I attempted to simplify the guardianship process in my vlog.  This blog […]

What is the Estate Tax and How Does it Work?

Posted on February 17, 2021 by

Earlier this month, I provided a very brief overview of the estate tax in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this blog post, I’ll expand on estate tax basics. What is the estate tax?  At its foundation, the estate tax is a tax imposed on the transfer of property upon death.  It […]

Stimulus Payments: When Should I File My 2020 Taxes?

Posted on February 11, 2021 by

With Congress still negotiating a third round of stimulus payments, you should carefully consider when to file your taxes this tax season.  Tax season begins February 12th and ends April 15th.  Filing your taxes earlier or later within that time period may determine whether or not you receive the third stimulus payment and how much […]

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