Practice Area

Wisconsin Trust & Probate Administration

After a loved one passes, you may not know exactly what to do. We do. We have a wealth of experience and the advantage of being a step removed from the emotions to help you make sound decisions about what should happen next.

Probate Administration

Probate is a court-supervised process for distributing assets (and settling debts) of the deceased.  The only way to avoid probate is if the person has established other ways to transfer their property.  Those ways might involve:

  • Joint ownership of property with the right of survivorship
  • A beneficiary designation
  • A transfer-on-death (TOD) deed
  • Pay on death or transfer on death account designations
  • Or a revocable trust

In all other cases where other than minimal property is involved, the executor or personal representative must go through a process called probate.  You are required to follow Wisconsin Probate Code, which provides specific, detailed (and legal-jargon filled) requirements about what must be done to settle the estate.

If a Wisconsin resident dies without creating a last will and testament, Wisconsin statutes will dictate who inherits the probate estate.

The probate process can be complex, and a seasoned probate attorney can guide you through all the steps – starting with understanding your obligations!

Responsibilities of Probate Administration

Some of the responsibilities of probate administration include:

  • Creating an inventory of the person’s assets
  • Transferring assets
  • Funding trusts created under the will
  • Paying bills
  • Preparing tax returns
  • Showing up in court
  • Preparing accountings

Let our probate administration attorneys provide you with the compassionate assistance you need to carry out your duties.

Trust Administration & Settlement

If your loved one has setup a trust, you’re one of the lucky ones! Trust administration is typically a less-stressful process than dealing with probate. However, for many people, the weighty responsibility of trust administration can feel overwhelming – especially at a time when you’re in mourning the loss of a loved one.

Trust Administration Responsibilities

If you’re the “successor trustee” you have a legally binding responsibility to find out:

  • Where all the assets are
  • Whether taxes need to be paid – and when
  • What the outstanding obligations are
  • How to transfer assets to the named beneficiaries
  • …and that’s just the short list.

Trustees can be held responsible for trust mismanagement – and even for mistakes. Plus, trust administration isn’t always as simple as it seems.

What happens if the trust hasn’t been updated to reflect the trust creator’s life situation before passing? What if family members dispute the terms of the trust? How do you handle issues that are unclear?

How a Trust Administration Attorney Can Help

The seasoned trust administration attorneys with Bartelt Grob can take the stress out of trust administration and settlement. We’ll help you:

  • Create a trust settlement plan
  • Stay on top of and meet important deadlines
  • Settle accounts with creditors and notify the appropriate government agencies
  • Communicate the wishes of the trust creator clearly and confidently to other beneficiaries

With our trust administration help, we’re confident you’ll be able to reach a trust settlement quickly and correctly – and with significantly less stress than doing it on your own. Please reach out for our assistance!

© 2018 Bartelt Grob, S.C.