Probate is seen as a dirty word in many circles, but for many estates, probate is essential. Probate can be time-consuming for sure, but there is also a lot of misinformation out there about how probate works. Let’s try to clear some of that up. How long does probate take in Wisconsin may be a chief question in your mind, and we will answer that too!
There is no exact science as to how long probate will take, but know that it will not be right away no matter what. In Wisconsin, the courts get up to 18 months to complete probate. The courts can grant an extension though it is rare that such a thing is necessary.
It will rarely take 18 months to complete probate in Wisconsin, but it will not take less than 6 months. This is because the courts need to give creditors time to be notified. It also allows people time to get issues resolved and any taxes filed. However, creditors can only make their claims within those first 4 months. Any claims after that are prohibited.
How Can You Plan to Avoid Probate?
There are a few ways to avoid probate. Small estates, specifically those under $50,000 in value, do not have to go through probate at all. Other things that skip probate are assets that are titled jointly, retirement funds with beneficiaries outside the estate, life insurance proceeds, and assets placed in a living trust.
Some of these obviously only cover a portion of your potential estate and others are very specific, but the last is the biggest thing that you can do to change how your assets will be managed after your passing.
A skilled estate lawyer, like those at Collins Law Firm, can help you plan your estate with a revocable living trust. This sets up assets in a trust and makes plans for where those assets will go ahead of time which also ensures that your beneficiaries get access to funds and assets as soon as possible.
Who Pays Probate Costs in Wisconsin?
If you ended up going through probate, then you may be wondering how much that costs. ANy creditor claims and taxes will be paid by the estate. As far as estate tax, Wisconsin currently has no estate tax, and federal law as of 2022 exempts the first $11.4 from estate tax. In 2026, that number will be going down to $6 million.
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