It depends. Probates will always take at least 90-120 days to finish, as the estate cannot be closed until the time for creditors to file claims expires. Our goal is to close all estates within nine months. If an estate takes longer than nine months, generally it is because of difficulty with selling or dividing assets (i.e. a house won't sell).
To protect banks and beneficiaries. The initial appointment process is intended to protect beneficiaries by making sure the will is valid (or there is no will) and the correct person is named personal representative. The court also forces the personal representative to report all estate assets, income, and expenses, which is designed to prevent fraud.
The process also is designed to protect banks and other institutions dealing with personal representatives. Court-issued domiciliary letters guarantee the banks they are providing the decedent's funds to the right person.
Yes. We routinely serve as estate attorney for personal representatives who live in other states and are managing estates here in central Wisconsin. We also have a network of trusted professionals who can assist with things that are difficult to manage from a distance, such as real estate upkeep.
Yes. Our firm routinely administers estates where the decedent's will was written by an attorney who has since retired. A personal representative is always free to choose the attorney who will assist with the estate.
Fees and costs vary greatly depending on the number of beneficiaries, the number and type of assets owned by the decedent, and whether the estate involves any unusual transactions (for example, splitting land or selling it to a family member).
In many cases, we are actually able to pay for our fees or offset them significantly by making sure the estate beneficiaries get all of the tax deductions they are entitled to, and by helping our personal representatives make sound decisions managing assets. During our initial consultation, we provide an estimate of total fees and costs involved.
Lauterbach Legal LLC
2417A Post Road, Suite C
Stevens Point, WI 54481