In the probate process, a court supervises the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. An asset is anything of value, such as cash, real estate and personal property. Probate isn’t always required; if the deceased owned assets with someone else, that person usually gets the property automatically. If someone dies and leaves little behind, their few assets can often be distributed without probate. Below are some circumstances in which the Best Probate Law in Milwaukee is necessary:
When it’s necessary to clear title to large bank accounts, stocks, bonds and land before putting those assets in the hands of the designated beneficiaries
When the deceased was owed money
When a dispute arises between people who believe they are entitled to the deceased’s assets
Where a will is disputed
The Probate Process
When a will is made, it can be proved via an affidavit made by the will’s witnesses and signed under oath. If an affidavit is unobtainable, the witnesses must appear in court to testify that the deceased was of sound mind when the will was signed.
After the will is proved, a representative is selected. The representative handles the affairs of the deceased, and that person is approved by the court. If someone dies intestate (without a will), the court appoints a personal representative (usually a spouse, adult child or other relative). If these people cannot or will not be the representative, the court chooses a trust company, bank or lawyer to serve in that capacity.
A creditor notice is published in the local paper, telling creditors that they have up to four months to bring a claim against the deceased’s estate for any debts owed. The representative also gives written notification to any current and potential creditors before heirs and those named in the will are notified.
Assets are identified and inventoried, and debts are paid before the remaining assets are distributed. The representative readies tax returns and pays all taxes due before submitting an account to the court and to the heirs. After the account is approved, the assets are distributed as set forth in the will.
Probate is a lengthy process, and it involves substantial amounts of paperwork. To get an equitable result, the probate process should be handled by an experienced lawyer. The Law Offices of Michael D. Sanger can help heirs avoid tax ramifications and other issues, and they can assist in the preparation and filing of legal documents.
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