Practice Areas

Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers Serving Madison and Surrounding Communities

You spent years working hard to accumulate your property. If you do not prepare properly for the eventuality of death, your property will simply pass according to the Wisconsin laws of intestacy. For many people, these laws may not provide adequate attention to the reality of their relationships with their loved ones. Moreover, many people become sick before passing away, and they may want to have control over what happens in case they become incapacitated. At Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC, our team of accomplished Madison estate planning attorneys uses our knowledge and skills to make sure that our clients' needs and goals are met. Our firm provides honesty, courteousness, and professionalism to each of our clients.

Devising Wills, Trusts, and Other Documents

We help clients plan for a serious illness, a disability, or death by preparing wills and trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, and health care powers of attorney that reflect their intentions. In some cases, we can also advise you on more complex instruments like Medicaid asset protection trusts, Retirement plan trusts, and special needs trusts.

Wills are written documents that specify who is going to receive assets that do not pass based on joint ownership or beneficiary designation when you die. Wills may also make arrangements for who raises your children if they are minors when your spouse and you pass away. They may name a personal representative to pay your bills and distribute your assets to various beneficiaries, and they may determine whether the beneficiaries of your will receive an inheritance or become beneficiaries of a trust. Your will must be valid to be enforceable after your death. It must be written and signed by you as well as by two witnesses who have watched you sign it. Witnesses must not be beneficiaries.

Probate Representation

We also represent clients in probate matters. Probate is a judicial process whereby property is transferred from someone who has passed away to their survivors or beneficiaries. It is a process that applies whether or not you have made a will, as long as you have left $50,000 of assets that may be probated. Assets that may be probated are items of property that are not automatically transferred upon death because they have no joint owner or beneficiary to be paid upon death. These include some real estate, bank accounts, equipment, furniture, personal effects, and vehicles.

If the person who passed away left a will, it needs to be filed and proved. Notice must be provided to all interested parties so that they have the opportunity to challenge the will. There are numerous grounds that permit a will contest. For example, a family member may believe that the person who made the will did not have the mental capacity to make the will or may have been subject to undue influence by a beneficiary. The probate court will appoint an executor to collect assets, distribute assets, and pay off the decedent's debts.

Many people would prefer to avoid probate because it is time-consuming and expensive. If you place all of your assets in a living trust, probate may be avoided, and property will be distributed through trust administration

Retain a Madison Attorney for Your Estate Planning or Probate Needs

Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC, also provides diligent services to Wisconsin residents regarding health care planning issues and veterans pension planning. Our Madison estate planning lawyers also represent people in Fitchburg, Middleton, Monona, Mount Horeb, Stoughton, Verona, Dodgeville, Evansville, Janesville, Barabook, and Sauk City, as well as other areas of Dane, Iowa, Rock, Eau Claire, Dodge, Brown, and Sauk Counties. Contact us at (608) 268-5751 or through our online form to set up an appointment with an estate planning or probate attorney.