MILWAUKEE & WAUKESHA COUNTY PROBATE AND ESTATE LAWYERS


Estate Planning & Probate:


Estate Planning, is the process through which we direct the Court, family and friends as to who will receive  our cherished possessions and assets. It can be done in a formal manner but there are also less formal options as well.



A "Last Will and Testament", commonly referred to as a Will is a legal, binding document which dictates who will receive your assets and belongings at the time of your passing, who will care for your minor children (their "Guardian") and who will be assigned with the responsibility of insuring that your estate is properly administered ("Personal Representative").


This is more common than you may believe. If a person dies without a Will, they die "intestate". If you die intestate, the state statutes will dictate who receives your worldly belongings and not you.  Additionally, the Courts will decide who should be your personal representative also referred to as the executor of your estate, and will choose your minor children's guardian without any input from you.


If a person dies with a Will ("testate"), the Probate Court will determine if it is a legally enforceable will.  If it is determined that the Will satisfies the legal requirements for a Will in the State of Wisconsin, the Court will oversee the payment of creditors, the administration of assets and the establishment of any necessary Trusts.


Probate is the Court's procedure for overseeing that  legal title of property is transferred from the decedent to his or her beneficiaries as listed in his or her Last Will and Testament.   While Probate is not necessarily a "bad thing" is does cost money and there are cost effective ways of avoiding it. Call Drosen, Wandt and Rustad to discuss how to avoid Probate and whether or not it is likely to occur at the time of your death.


Yes.  Even though the usage of beneficiaries is a necessary part of a prudent estate plan, usage of beneficiary designations circumvent any Testamentary Trusts which would otherwise benefit minors or those with special needs.  Further, while you might look at your current financial situation as a snapshot, no one knows how it will change between today's date and the date of your death.  You may be a person of modest means, but your estate may have significant funds as result of the manner of your death.


Absolutely!  If you have not yet made a Will, we strongly urge you to have one drafted now. If you have already completed one, it is customary to change it over time as your life changes.



Simple Wills are not for everyone. The size and complexity of your estate will dictate if a Simple Will is right for you. 


A Trust, both Revocable and Irrevocable is a legal receptacle for  retention of assets before and after your death thereby decreasing or eliminating the necessity of Probate.


No.  As with Simple Wills , the size and complexity of your estate will dictate which estate planning vehicle most efficiently satisfies your needs. 


Yes.  Estate planning and the Law as a whole is always evolving and changing.  You should review your estate planning every two to three years with a licensed attorney in your state of residence to determine if changes need to be made due to changes in the law or your specific situation.  At Schmidlkofer, Toth, Loeb & Drosen, LLC we are happy to schedule a meeting with you FREE OF CHARGE to determine if your current estate plan is right for you.



                                    
 Schmidlkofer, Toth, Loeb & Drosen, LLC
         949 Glenview Avenue
         Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53213

         (414) 259-9300
          (414) 259-9303 Fax

The information you obtain at this site is not intended to be legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright (c) 2010 by the Attorney Christopher Drosen.  All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution.  All Copies must include this copyright statement.




Copyright (c) 2010 by the Attorney Christopher Drosen.  All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution.  All Copies must include this copyright statement.

Attorney Christopher Drosen
                               (414) 259-9300

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