The last step in the probate is finishing up. This is where we jump back in, helping make the final set of reports to the court and beneficiaries, helping with final distributions, and arranging for preparation of tax returns.
The Wisconsin probate code requires the personal representative to make certain reports to the court and beneficiaries. The best way to think about these reports is to think about a business's financial statements. At the end of the year, the business has to make a report to the shareholders and to the IRS that says what it owns, how much income it generated, and what its expenses were.
An estate works the same way. The beneficiaries and the court (and, in many cases, the IRS) need to know how much property came into the estate, how much income was generated while the estate was pending, and how much the personal representative paid in expenses during the probate. That information is used to report to the beneficiaries, and (in many cases) is also used to generate a tax return for the estate.
Like income tax returns for individuals, the estate income tax return return often results in a deduction to the beneficiaries. Sometimes, this deduction covers the cost of the financial reports, and sometimes even more.
Our business model is based on flat fees--the idea that clients are best served by knowing costs and services to be delivered up front. During our initial meeting, we will quote a flat fee for getting the probate started, and give an option of a flat fee for the probate accountings to be done. Work in between (that is, help with managing assets) is billed based on the time spent.
We hope this overview has been helpful to you. If you're ready to get started, simply click on the button below to contact us or request an appointment. We look forward to showing you a better way to do probate!
Lauterbach Legal LLC
2417A Post Road, Suite C
Stevens Point, WI 54481