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settle estate in wisconsin

Everyone knows that probate can be a long and often arduous process. Sometimes, it may feel like it will never come to a conclusion. Time limits are in place to help ensure an efficient probate process. How long do you have to settle an estate in Wisconsin? Let’s take a look at these timelines. 

Probate Process in Wisconsin

Before we look at the deadlines to settle an estate, here’s a refresher on the probate process in Wisconsin. First, the deceased person’s will must be filed in court. After that happens, the courts will appoint a personal representative of the estate. Their job is to manage and distribute all assets according to the deceased’s wishes. 

This person is responsible for many tasks, such as:

  • Identifying and collecting all the person’s assets
  • Paying any outstanding debts and taxes
  • Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will

Also, they need to respond to claims and resolve disputes before passing any assets to the beneficiaries. Anyone wanting to make a claim will have a short amount of time. For example, creditors often only have less than four months from the filing to make a claim on any assets

Once all debts and taxes have been paid, the representative can transfer the ownership of the assets to the beneficiaries. During this time, they may need to:

  • Sell property
  • Transfer titles
  • Distribute funds from a bank account

Throughout the process, the executor must keep accurate records and provide regular updates to the court.

With that, how long do you have to finish the probate process?

Probate Deadlines

In Wisconsin, the standard probate deadline is 18 months from the date of the individual’s death. However, some counties may require completion within 12 months. If you want to find the exact timeline, check with your local probate court. In some cases, if you cannot close the estate in the time frame, you can request an extension. 

The probate process can be complicated. In many cases, this proceeding takes a long time to complete because of the size or complexity of the estate. Also, if there are numerous beneficiaries or creditors’ claims, that can add more time to the process. When you work with an experienced probate or estate law attorney, they can help you proceed through this process. 

Strategies to Expedite Probate

The process of probate can be time-consuming and costly. However, some strategies can help expedite the process. You may want to avoid probate altogether by setting up a trust or joint ownership of assets. With that, your assets are distributed according to your wishes without court involvement.

In situations where probate is necessary, make sure the process is handled efficiently. Working with an experienced attorney can help you understand the probate process and guide you through each step. Additionally, they can help you gather all necessary documents and information ahead of time to avoid delays and make sure there’s a smooth administration.

Let Us Help with the Probate Process

How long do you have to settle an estate in Wisconsin? The timeline can vary depending on your jurisdiction. However, there are many times when a few complexities can add to those timelines, requiring you to request an extension. 

If you have any questions about probate or want to know more about estate planning, contact the Collins Law Firm. We proudly serve Southeastern Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area. 

Our experienced estate planning team helps individuals like you to build and protect your legacy. Schedule your free and confidential consultation today by contacting us or calling (414) 207-6292.

Talk to someone about your estate plan today. Free and Confidential.

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