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Wills: A Comprehensive Guide for Janesville, Wisconsin Residents

A well-crafted will is crucial for anyone looking to secure their family's future and ensure their wishes are respected after they're gone. Heritage Law Office, an experienced estate planning law firm in Wisconsin, can help you navigate the complexities of will creation and estate planning. Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today.

The Importance of Wills in Janesville, Wisconsin

A is a legal document that outlines how a person's assets and property will be distributed after their death. It is essential for individuals to have a valid will to provide clear guidance for their loved ones and prevent potential disputes.

The Role of an Estate Planning Attorney

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you draft a will that accurately reflects your intentions and complies with Wisconsin state laws. They can provide valuable advice on how to structure your will to minimize taxes and other expenses, as well as ensure your will is properly executed.

Key Elements of a Will in Wisconsin

A will should include several essential components to be legally valid and effectively communicate your wishes.

Naming an Executor

An executor is the person responsible for administering your estate, including distributing assets and paying debts. Choose a reliable and trustworthy individual as your executor.

Asset Distribution

Clearly outline how you want your assets distributed among your beneficiaries, such as family members, friends, or charities.

Guardianship of Minor Children

If you have minor children, appoint a guardian to care for them and manage any assets they inherit until they reach adulthood.

Specific Bequests

Include any specific bequests, such as leaving a family heirloom to a particular individual or making a donation to a charity.

Funeral Arrangements

Although not legally binding, including your preferences for funeral arrangements can provide guidance for your loved ones during a difficult time.

Updating Your Will: When and Why

It's essential to update your will regularly to ensure it remains accurate and relevant.

Life Changes

Significant life events, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child, may necessitate updating your will.

Financial Shifts

Major financial changes, like acquiring new property or a significant increase in wealth, should prompt a review of your will.

Changes in Relationships

Adjustments to personal relationships, such as new friendships or estrangements, can impact your decisions about beneficiaries and asset distribution.

The Probate Process in Janesville, Wisconsin

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person's estate is administered and distributed. Understanding the probate process can help you make informed decisions about your will and estate planning.

Probate Assets vs. Non-Probate Assets

Probate assets are assets that must pass through the probate process before distribution, such as real estate or bank accounts solely in the deceased's name. Non-probate assets, like joint bank accounts or life insurance policies, pass directly to the designated beneficiary.

The Probate Timeline

The probate process can take several months to years, depending on the complexity of the estate and any potential disputes among beneficiaries.

Avoiding Probate in Wisconsin

There are several strategies for avoiding probate, which can save your beneficiaries time and money.


Establishing a trust, such as a revocable living trust, can allow assets to bypass probate and be distributed directly to beneficiaries.

Joint Ownership

Holding property jointly with rights of survivorship ensures that the property automatically passes to the surviving owner upon the other owner's death.

Beneficiary Designations

Naming beneficiaries on accounts, such as retirement plans or life insurance policies, allows these assets to be transferred directly to the beneficiary without going through probate.

Contact a Janesville, Wisconsin Will Attorney

If you need assistance with creating or updating a will, or if you have questions about estate planning and probate, contact Heritage Law Office's knowledgeable attorneys. We are here to help Janesville residents make informed decisions about their estate plans. You can reach us by using the online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we proudly provide legal advice to those in Milwaukee County and surrounding communities.

Milwaukee Office
757 N. Broadway, Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53202
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Minneapolis, MN 55104
414-676-2787 (fax)
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