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Exempt Probate Assets in Wisconsin

Posted by Lanre J. Abiola | Feb 24, 2024

Probate is the legal process of transferring the property from a deceased person's estate to their heirs or beneficiaries. Additionally, probate is required in Wisconsin for any assets without a trust that exceed $50,000. Probate is overseen by the local probate court. 

When someone with assets without a trust that exceed $50,000 passes away, the person's assets could end up in probate. During the probate process, the person's debts and assets are managed and distributed by the probate court. However, not all assets go through probate. The exempt probate assets in Wisconsin include the following: trust assets, jointly owned assets, transfer on death (TOD) assets, business interests, and family allowances.

Trust Assets

Generally, the goal of creating a trust is to make the inheritance process smoother, easier, and private. Thus, to avoid probate, creating a trust is a way for a property owner to pass his/her assets to someone else to protect the assets.

Jointly Owned Assets

Jointly owned assets are exempt from probate in Wisconsin. For instance, when a co-owner of jointly owned assets such as real estate properties, bank accounts, and vehicles passes away, the survivor becomes the sole owner of the assets.

Transfer on Death (TOD) Assets

If the owner of the assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, or properties designates certain beneficiaries to inherit the assets after death, then these assets will bypass probate and those beneficiaries will inherit those assets. Therefore, TOD to designated beneficiaries allows the owner to transfer assets to the named beneficiaries and bypass probate.

Business Interests

If the owner has business interests, the owner's business interests may be transferred to designated beneficiaries according to the business' articles of incorporation or bylaws. When done correctly, these provisions allow the assets to bypass probate.

Exempt Family Allowances

Wisconsin allows exempt family allowances from probate. Family allowances are funds that are meant to provide financial support for the surviving spouse and minor children during the probate process. 

In short, understanding exempt probate assets in Wisconsin allows you to better plan for your future and financially protect your family members from the expensive probate process.

To learn more about exempt probate assets in Wisconsin, contact Prestige Law Office, LLC. Give the firm a chance to help you avoid probate by scheduling a consultation and taking the first step in securing your future.

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About the Author

Lanre J. Abiola

Mr. Lanre Abiola founded Prestige Law Office, LLC, in 2022 with the objective of providing individuals, entrepreneurs, and small and mid-sized businesses with high-quality, cost-effective legal services to achieve the best possible result for clients at a fair cost. Mr. Abiola believes in vigorous advocacy on clients' behalf.

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Prestige Law Office, LLC, is committed to answering your questions about business law, estate planning, and real estate law in Wisconsin. Schedule a consultation and the firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact the firm to get started by scheduling a consultation and taking the first step in securing your future.

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