Little Chute Estate Lawyers Addressing the Wills & Probate Attorney Service Needs of Clients
A properly drafted will by an estate attorney can save your family time and money
Mortality is an uncomfortable subject, and the discomfort that comes with discussing this topic leads to many of us holding off on making plans. However, dying without a will drafted by an estate lawyer makes the probate process a complicated burden on your survivors, and increases the likelihood your estate will not go to your desired beneficiaries.
The estate lawyers at Van Hoof & Schneider Law Firm assist clients and ensure that your will delivers your estate to the proper beneficiaries. Our probate lawyer services can also guide your family through the probate process and ease their burden.
Every adult should have a will in place
Roughly half of all adults pass away without a will drafted by an estate lawyer, also known as dying “intestate.” Under those circumstances, your possessions, real estate, financial assets and debts are tallied together during the probate process. They are distributed in accordance with Wisconsin’s laws of intestate succession, which divides the estate in set proportions between close family members.
A will drafted by an estate lawyer allows you to direct gifts for specific beneficiaries. Notable advantages include:
- Being able to set the size of inheritance — Wisconsin’s intestacy laws set the size of each heir’s inheritance in proportion to others. A properly drafted will can give one person the bulk of an estate or a specific dollar amount.
- Giving certain heirs a specific gift — If you want a beneficiary to have a particular piece of property, such as a house, car or other item, you can use your will to direct it to them. Without a will, such items are divided generally as part of the marital estate.
- Directing your estate to third parties — Intestacy laws only divide your estate between close family members. A will can direct gifts to friends, charitable organizations and other entities.
A will also simplifies the probate process and reduces the chances of conflict between your survivors, making a difficult time easier on your friends and family. It is important to amend your will ahead of any potential divorce or bankruptcy proceedings.
The best lawyers to guide you through the probate process
Probate is the process by which a court inventories and distributes your estate after you die. If you do not have an executor named in your will, a court may appoint an executor to be in charge of the inventory process. During the probate period, the estate is held “open” so any creditors can make claims. Once all of a decedent’s assets, property and debts are tallied, the estate is then “closed,” any outstanding creditors are paid, and the remainder of the estate is distributed to any surviving heirs.
Probate applies to all estates in excess of $50,000 and can last months or longer, depending on the size of the estate. Having a probate attorney with knowledge of the probate process can ease the burden on an executor and reduce the potential for disputes between family, friends and creditors. If you want to know more about the probate process or are interested in challenging part of the proceedings, contact our estate lawyers for a free lawyer consultation.
Call us to schedule a 30-minute free lawyer consultation on wills & the probate process
Van Hoof & Schneider Law Firm serves Appleton and the surrounding communities from our office on Main Street in Little Chute. Our estate lawyers are committed to ensuring that you have peace of mind and can feel confident your estate will reach the right parties. For a 30-minute initial free lawyer consultation, call us at 920.788.3543 or online.
“Casey, kindness like yours makes a difference. Thank you for all you’ve done for me!”
– Donna Bauman, client.
MEET CASEY P. SCHNEIDER
Casey Paul Schneider obtained his Bachelor of Science, Dean’s List, 1990, from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and his Juris Doctor, Dean’s List, 1994, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.