A Will, also called a Last Will and Testament can help you designate which people or organizations you want to leave your property to, who you want to be the guardian to care for your minor or disabled children, whether your beneficiaries receive their inheritance outright or in a trust and who you want to serve as your Personal Representative.
Probate is the court –supervised process for the orderly transfer of a decedent’s property to those who the decedent wants to receive the property upon their death. The process insures that notice to property is given, that all debts, taxes, and expenses are paid and that assets are distributed according to the last Will or to the heirs as determined by intestate succession if there isn’t a Will. Wisconsin intestacy laws give the decedent’s property to the closest relatives, beginning with the spouse and children. If the decedent has neither a spouse nor children, then the decedent’s parents or their grandchildren will receive the property. This list of relatives continues with increasingly distant relatives including siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and the decedent’s spouse’s relatives.