Estate Planning Attorneys
Well-planned estate planning cannot only offer you comfort in knowing that you have provided for your loved ones, but it also offers peace of mind in knowing that you have done everything you can to make things easier for your family, should they need to step in and take care of your affairs on your behalf, or after you have passed away.
Probate is the legal process whereby a deceased person's assets are gathered, bills are paid, and the remainder passed to their heirs. People who have property that does not pass by another means need to go through the probate process. Most probates can be handled informally by filing paperwork with the Register in Probate. The personal representative you have appointed in your will administers your estate according to your wishes as outlined in the will. In the probate process, the personal representative will meet with the attorney to discuss which property is in the probate estate and which is not. This will depend on how assets are titled (i.e., joint owners, POD or pay on death, beneficiary designation, etc.). Once the probate process has started, the personal representative will be appointed to handle all financial matters on behalf the of your estate. This includes paying bills, liquidating assets, and paying applicable taxes out of the estate property. Both the personal representative and your heirs will receive an inventory of your estate, which includes the assets and liabilities of the estate, and the final account which is a record of the inventoried property, property received after the estate was opened, the bills paid by the estate (including administration expenses), and the amounts available for distribution.
If you are unsure of the legal area in which your situation applies, please contact these La Crosse lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our office at 608.784.3567.