BUCKLE UP Typically, in the State of Wisconsin, when someone dies with more than $50,000 worth of assets that have no beneficiary designation on the assets, the person’s estate is headed for probate. Some people create trusts and have assets transferred into the name of the trust to avoid probate. If you find yourself in the midst of a probate as a personal representative, buckle up because it could be a long ride. Most probates take between 9 and 14 months, however, some can last years. Authority is granted to the personal representative by the Probate Court to act on behalf of the estate. There must be a publication in a local newspaper to give creditors a chance to make a claim against the estate. Inventory is filed, bills are paid according to statutory requirements, and finally the beneficiaries will be paid. Usually an estate tax return must be filed before the probate may be closed. If disputes arise among the beneficiaries, or if there are out of state assets, then the probate can linger. You need an attorney who is familiar with the probate process to navigate many of these pitfalls. To schedule a free consultation to discuss creating a trust so that your heirs can avoid probate, or to find out if probate is necessary after the death of a loved one, contact the Pruitt Law Offices S.C. at 262-633-8301, through our website at pruittlawoffices.com, or visit us at 731 Main Street in Racine. We are your partners for professional service.