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Wills: A Comprehensive Guide to Estate Planning in Bayside, Wisconsin

At Heritage Law Office, our experienced estate planning attorneys in Wisconsin will thoroughly review your needs and wants when planning your estate and provide an outline of your best options, including the creation of a will. Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today.

Importance of Wills for Estate Planning in Bayside, Wisconsin

Wills are essential documents that allow you to determine how your assets and property will be distributed after your death. By creating a will, you can ensure that your wishes are carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of.

Reasons to Have a Will

A will provides several benefits, including:

  • Control over asset distribution
  • Appointment of guardians for minor children
  • Selection of an executor to manage your estate
  • Reduced likelihood of family disputes

The Process of Creating a Will in Wisconsin

In order to create a valid will in Wisconsin, you must follow certain steps and meet specific legal requirements.

Legal Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be of sound mind
  • Sign the will in the presence of two witnesses
  • Have the will signed by the two witnesses

Elements of a Valid Will

A valid will must contain the following elements:

  1. Identification of the testator: Clearly identify yourself as the person creating the will.
  2. Revocation of prior wills: Revoke any previous wills to avoid confusion or disputes.
  3. Appointment of an executor: Name a trusted individual to administer your estate.
  4. Disposition of property: Clearly specify how your assets and property should be distributed.
  5. Guardianship provisions: Appoint a guardian for any minor children.
  6. Signature: Sign the will in the presence of two witnesses.

Common Types of Wills in Bayside, Wisconsin

There are several types of wills available, each with unique advantages and disadvantages.

Simple Will

A simple will is a straightforward document that outlines how your assets should be distributed and names an executor to administer your estate.

Testamentary Trust Will

A testamentary trust will establishes one or more trusts upon your death. This type of will is useful for managing assets for minor children or beneficiaries with special needs.

Joint Will

A joint will is created by two individuals, typically spouses, and outlines how their assets should be distributed after both of their deaths.

Living Will

A living will is a separate document that specifies your medical treatment preferences in the event that you become incapacitated.

Updating Your Will in Bayside, Wisconsin

It's essential to review and update your will periodically to ensure that it continues to reflect your wishes and circumstances.

When to Update Your Will

You should consider updating your will in the following situations:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a beneficiary
  • Acquisition or disposal of significant assets
  • Changes in tax laws

How to Update Your Will

To update your will, you can either create a new will or add a codicil (a legal amendment) to your existing will. In either case, the updated document must meet Wisconsin's legal requirements for wills.

Probate Process in Bayside, Wisconsin

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person's estate is administered and distributed according to their will or state law.

Initiating the Probate Process

The probate process begins when the executor named in the will, or an interested party if there is no will, files a petition with the appropriate probate court. The court will then validate the will and appoint the executor.

Duties of the Executor

The executor is responsible for several tasks, including:

  • Gathering the deceased's assets
  • Paying any debts and taxes
  • Filing necessary tax returns
  • Distributing assets according to the will

Closing the Estate

Once all tasks have been completed, the executor must provide an accounting of their actions to the court and request that the estate be closed.

Do You Need an Attorney for Estate Planning in Bayside, Wisconsin?

While it's possible to create a will without legal assistance, working with an experienced estate planning attorney can ensure that your will is legally valid and accurately reflects your wishes.

Benefits of Hiring an Attorney

Some advantages of working with an attorney include:

  • Expert guidance on complex estate planning matters
  • Assistance with drafting a legally valid will
  • Help with updating your will as circumstances change
  • Representation in probate court if necessary

Contact a Knowledgeable Wills Attorney in Bayside, Wisconsin

If you're considering creating or updating a will, or if you need assistance with estate planning matters, contact our experienced attorneys at Heritage Law Office. We can help you navigate the complex world of estate planning and ensure that your wishes are carried out. 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
Minneapolis Office
Minneapolis, MN 55104
414-676-2787 (fax)
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