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.

Will or Trust: Which is Right for Me?

Posted on June 21, 2022 by

One of the most common questions asked by our clients is, “What is the difference between a will and a trust, and which is right for me?”  Last week, I provided a brief summary of the differences between these two common estate planning tools in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this […]

Local Social Security Administration Offices Open for Business Again

Posted on April 14, 2022 by

Do you prefer face-to-face meetings? Do you struggle getting through a phone tree or finding what you need online? Many of our clients receive Social Security Retirement benefits, Social Security Disability benefits, and various other benefits provided through the Social Security Administration (the “SSA”). Recently, Kilolo Kijakazi, the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced that […]

Marital Property Agreements: They’re Not Just for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

Posted on February 23, 2022 by

Spring officially begins on March 20th – less than one month away.  In Wisconsin, that means wedding planning is in full swing.  One important item on many wedding planning to-do lists is a pre-nuptial agreement. We hear a lot about “pre-nups” in pop culture.  One of the most iconic pop culture references is in the […]

Online Document Forms Don’t Always Do the Job

Posted on February 22, 2022 by

Wendell knew he needed a financial power of attorney document in order to make sure he named someone to manage his finances and take care of his business if he was ever unable to do so on his own. However, Wendell was busy and didn’t want to take the time or spend the money to […]

Current Status of Federal Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Posted on February 14, 2022 by

You likely are aware, from the news and our prior communications, that Congress currently is considering proposals that may have a significant impact on many estate plans. Although we still cannot be certain which, if any, of the proposed changes will become law, we want to provide you with an overview of their potential effect […]

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 […]

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