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.

The probate process is complicated, therefore we’ve created an infographic to explain the Three Phases of Informal Probate.

 

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.

Pros and Cons of Using the No-Contest Clause

Posted on December 13, 2021 by

Drafting an estate plan allows a person to put into writing their wishes for division of assets upon death.  Sometimes this means making a choice to give more to one child over the other, or to completely write out natural heirs of law.  An uncle whose nephew is like a son to him may bypass […]

CMS Releases Key Medicare Figures for 2022

Posted on November 23, 2021 by , and

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently released key Medicare figures for 2022 that will affect all elderly and disabled individuals who receive program benefits.  This notice summarizes the changes and their impact on various benefits. As is normally the case, Medicare deductibles and premiums have both increased and decreased for 2022.  Many […]

What is the Gift Tax and How Does it Work?

Posted on November 22, 2021 by

Last week, I provided a brief overview of the gift tax in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this blog post, I’ll expand on basic gift tax concepts, just in time to make your holiday gifts. What is the gift tax?  Basically, the gift tax is a tax imposed on the gratuitous […]

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 […]

Wisconsin Acts to Protect Seniors

Posted on August 9, 2021 by

On Friday, August 6, 2021, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed into law six new laws for Wisconsin. One of the new laws, addresses five key issues regarding the elderly.  They are: Increased penalties for crimes committed against an elderly individual. Increased the penalty for the sexual assault of an elderly individual. Creates a crime of […]

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 […]

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Increases Monthly Spousal Income Allowance

Posted on June 1, 2021 by , and

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently announced the “minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance” (“MMMNA”) will be increased from $2,873.34 to $2,903.34 starting on July 1, 2021.  As part of laws designed to prevent spousal impoverishment due to the high cost of long-term care, the “community spouse” (who is the spouse of an individual receiving […]

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