Wills in Wisconsin
Thinking about what happens after we're gone isn't always easy. Making a will and planning for death can seem morbid or unnecessary until the end of life. But a will is the backbone of any estate plan developed to protect your assets and your family if the worst happens.
A will can also enforce your wishes concerning distributing your estate or even how you'll be memorialized and buried. Unfortunately, your will may not be enforceable if you don't meet all the legal requirements for a valid will under Wisconsin law. That's why you should consult an experienced Wisconsin trusts and estates attorney like Alyssa Wilson.
What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
If you pass on without a will in Wisconsin, the court will distribute your estate according to the laws of “intestate succession.” In Wisconsin, intestacy laws will give your assets to your closest relatives, beginning with your spouse and children. If you don't have kids or a spouse, your estate will go to your grandchildren or parents. The law will then keep looking to more distant relatives such as siblings, cousins, and the like. But the best way to ensure that the people you choose receive your assets and possessions is to create a will.
Making a Valid Will in Wisconsin
To make a valid will in Wisconsin, you must be 18 and mentally competent or of sound mind. Your will must also be on paper, not video or audio. To make it valid, you must also:
- Acknowledge or sign your will in front of two people,
- Have your two witnesses sign the will within a reasonable time after you acknowledge or sign the will.
You don't have to have your will notarized, but you may make a will “self-proving” with the help of a notary. It's a good idea to have two disinterested people who aren't named in the will as your witnesses to avoid later claims of undue influence, which can invalidate a will.
An Experienced Walworth County Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
You want the best for your family and loved ones. That's why you want to protect them as best you can at a vulnerable time. The attorneys at Schuk Law have been helping clients prepare for the future for years with comprehensive estate planning and guidance. Find out how our attorneys can help you too. Contact Schuk Law, LLC today for a free consultation.