Wisconsin law permits a variety of ways property can be transferred. One of those methods is probate. A probate proceeding can arise when the decedent has no will or signs one. A probate proceeding starts by the filing of a petition, seeking someone to administer the estate called a personal representative. Thereafter, the Court sets a time for claims to be filed. The Personal Representative gathers information about assets of the decedent and files an inventory. Legal advice is quite helpful to properly complete the inventory because issues about marital property may arise, issues about joint property may be discovered or an issue about questionable title to ownership may occur. Once a Personal Representative is appointed, an attorney can assist in sale, mortgage or lease of property.
Our office can provide advice on opposing claims or asserting claims for the estate. Ultimately, we assist the Personal Representative in preparation of an account of the stewardship of the estate by the Personal Representative that must be approved by the probate court. We assist in the provision of advice on tax return preparation. In some cases, transfers of property can arise through summary procedures or ancillary procedures. These situations require knowledge of the legislative guidelines for more limited options.