Probate is the legal process by which a personal representative or special administrator distributes a deceased person’s probate assets and pays their debts. Probate assets are those assets titled in a person’s name alone.  Non-probate assets include things such as retirement and life insurance plans with named beneficiaries and jointly owned real estate.  A Will directs the transfer of probate assets while non-probate assets are transferred outside of the probate process.  We provide estate administration all over the State of Wisconsin.

Not all estates will follow the same procedure.  Navigating the process of dealing with a decedent’s assets and liabilities can be a truly daunting task.  Attorney Taggart has many years of experience dealing with these procedures and interacting with Registers of Probate.


In the State of Wisconsin, if an individual dies with $50,000.00 or more in probate assets, an informal probate must be initiated in the county where the decedent was domiciled at the time of death.  If certain factors exist, such as the decedent did not have a Will and Waivers and Consents cannot be obtained from all Interested Persons, a Formal Probate may be necessary.  A Formal Probate is the administration of a decedent’s estate under direct supervision of a Circuit Court Judge.


This type of procedure can be utilized when there is a surviving spouse or minor children and the decedent’s assets, less debts for which that property is security, does not exceed $50,000.00.


Summary Assignment is used when Summary Settlement does not apply, and the value of the decedent’s assets, less the debts, is not over $50,000.00.


A Special Administration may be commenced for various reasons detailed by Wisconsin Statutes, such as when there are no estate assets to be administered, and yet some act needs to be performed on the part of the decedent.


In some instances, an individual who was a resident of another State may have left probate assets in the State of Wisconsin that need to be properly transferred.  Quite frequently in these situations, a probate will be commenced in the State of residence, with a more abbreviated, Ancillary Probate initiated in the State of Wisconsin to deal with a specific Wisconsin asset or assets.


A “probate” is not necessary in all situations.  In certain situations, a Transfer By Affidavit or Termination of Decedent’s Interest form, may be sufficient to deal with a decedent’s estate.  We frequently draft and process such forms for our clients.

Contact our law office today about your probate issue by calling (608) 643-3391 to schedule an initial consultation regarding your situation with Attorney Patrick J. Taggart, II .