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Wisconsin Will Creation & Execution

Our estate planning attorneys are here to assist you in the creation and execution of last wills & testaments in Wisconsin. Whether you’re creating a will for the first time, updating an existing will, or executing a will after a loved one’s passing.

Process for Writing a Will

The steps to creating a Will are similar to creating a Trust. You should meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss your goals and family structure. At this meeting you should tell the attorney whom you want to designate as the executor of your estate, and perhaps a trusted back-up, secondary option if the first executor is unable or unwilling to serve when the time comes. You should also describe to the attorney how you want to distribute your property after your death. Some clients choose straight-forward distribution schedules, such as “equal shares to my children.” Others will use percentage amounts or specific property transfer instructions, such as leaving the house to your daughter and your classic car collection to your son.

After the first meeting your attorney will draft your Will. Then you will come back for a second meeting to review and sign your Will. The signing conference is critical and must be attended by two (2) uninterested witnesses to make your Will legally valid. These witnesses must watch you sign the document and then sign themselves. To make your Will even stronger, it is usually recommended that a notary also sign and stamp your Will after the witnesses and you have signed. You must also be in sound mind when creating your Will, and no one should be pressuring or putting undue stress on you through the process. Failure to abide by these formalities, such as using two (2) witnesses and being of sound mind, can open the Will up to legal challenges in Court. If a Court strikes a person’s Will as improperly executed, his or her estate will likely transfer and distribute according to the State’s default inheritance rules.

Do Wills Save Money on End of Life Expenses?

No, in and of themselves, Wills do not outright save you money on end-of-life expenses. Most of your expenses and final debts are what they are – meaning final credit card bills, funeral and medical bills, and other such costs likely exist whether you have a Will or not. Your Will can’t change the fact that you incurred these debts, and your estate is due to pay them under the law.

However, having a Will can streamline the probate process and settle disputes between family members over how to manage and distribute your property. Wills designate an executor to make final decisions for the estate and stipulate who will get the various items of property that were owned by the deceased person. By a having legal, firm written plan for your estate, you will likely avoid as many disputes between your heirs, and therein save money on the legal costs of probate litigation. Probate avoidance tools, such as trusts or transfer on death designations, are more relevant and even better at saving on legal fees against your estate than merely having a Will alone.

Wisconsin Will Creation & Execution

Get Started on Your Will Today

Create a plan for your family’s future today. Contact our Wisconsin estate planning attorneys for assistance in last will & testament preparation.