Mortality is an uncomfortable subject, and many of us hold off on making plans. However, dying without a will in place makes the probate process a complicated burden on your survivors, and increases the likelihood your estate will not go to your desired beneficiaries.
Van Hoof & Schneider Law Firm assists clients and ensures that your will delivers your estate to the proper beneficiaries. We can also guide your family through the probate process and ease their burden.
Roughly half of all adults pass away without a will, also known as dying “intestate.” Under those circumstances, your possessions, real estate, financial assets and debts are tallied together during the probate process. They are distributed in accordance with Wisconsin’s laws of intestate succession, which divides the estate in set proportions between close family members.
A will allows you to direct gifts for specific beneficiaries. Notable advantages include:
A will also simplifies the probate process and reduces the chances of conflict between your survivors, making a difficult time easier on your friends and family. It is important to amend your will ahead of any potential divorce or bankruptcy proceedings.
Probate is the process by which a court inventories and distributes your estate after you die. If you do not have an executor named in your will, a court may appoint an executor to be in charge of the inventory process. During the probate period, the estate is held “open” so any creditors can make claims. Once all of a decedent’s assets, property and debts are tallied, the estate is then “closed,” any outstanding creditors are paid, and the remainder of the estate is distributed to any surviving heirs.
Probate applies to all estates in excess of $50,000 and can last months or longer, depending on the size of the estate. Having an attorney with knowledge of the probate process can ease the burden on an executor and reduce the potential for disputes between family, friends and creditors. If you want to know more about the probate process or are interested in challenging part of the proceedings, contact us.
Call us to schedule a free 30-minute consultation on wills & the probate process
Van Hoof & Schneider Law Firm serves Appleton and the surrounding communities from our office on Main Street in Little Chute. We are committed to ensuring that you have peace of mind and can feel confident your estate will reach the right parties. For a free 30-minute initial consultation, call us at 920.788.3543 or online.
"Casey, kindness like yours makes a difference. Thank you for all you’ve done for me!"
- Donna Bauman, client.
MEET CASEY P. SCHNEIDER
Casey Paul Schneider obtained his Bachelor of Science, Dean's List, 1990, from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and his Juris Doctor, Dean's List, 1994, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
OUR LOCATIONVan Hoof & Schneider Law Firm
Van Hoof & Schneider Law Firm is in Little Chute, Wisconsin and serves clients in and around Little Chute, Kaukauna, Appleton, Combined Locks, Sherwood, Calumet County and Outagamie County.