When many people in Wisconsin hear the terms “probate,” “estate” and “probate court,” they cringe. They harbor a number of conceptions about the probate process, some that may not be accurate and others that might be at least somewhat overblown. The reality is that the probate process is not always that difficult or challenging, let alone horrible.
What is probate?
In the most basic terms, probate is the process that follows the death of a person in some circumstances, but not always. Probate is the process through which the financial affairs and distribution of assets are handled and resolved.
Making probate easier
If a person with assets does nothing in the way of estate planning, the resulting probate process upon his or her death can be challenging. With that said, an individual that undertakes comprehensive estate planning can make the financial and associated aftermath of death far easier.
A prime example of what a person with a more significant amount in the way of assets can lessen challenges associated with probate is to establish a trust. The reality is that taking this route can permit the avoidance of probate and trust administration and prove to be an easier and less expensive endeavor.
Wisconsin law also contains a provision that permits a less complicated, more simplified probate process for individuals with a lesser amount in the way of assets. Indeed, a more simplified process permits a significant reduction in court involvement in the probate process.
Planning ahead and proper professional assistance from a qualified estate attorney is a wise course. There are estate and probate lawyers that focus their professional efforts on assisting people in estate planning and associated tasks.