The form to apply for an Employer Identification Number is available at the following website: IRS website.
How can I get State Probate forms?
The use of standard State forms is required by all Wisconsin Circuit Courts. You may obtain State probate forms from the Probate Office in your county or the Wisconsin Court System website.
How do I file a Claim Against Estate?
Complete standard state form PR-1819, Claim Against Estate.
File the completed form with the Register in Probate together with the $3.00 statutory filing fee. Please be aware that the claim may not be filed if the $3.00 fee does not accompany the claim.
Send a copy of the claim to the Personal Representative and the estate attorney, if any.
There is a time limit for filing a claim based on when the probate action was started. You can check the court record on the Wisconsin Court System website to find out the claims deadline for a particular case.
What is an Affidavit Under $50,000?
Wisconsin Statutes allows for the transfer of a small estate to an heir of a decedent, or to the decedent’s guardian, trustee or a revocable trust or a person named in the will to act as Personal Representative, without the necessity of going through a probate proceeding. When a decedent leaves solely owned property with a total value of $50,000 or less, the State form, PR-1831, Transfer by Affidavit ($50,000 and Under) can be used. This form is often referred to as a "small estates affidavit".
The Transfer by Affidavit is not filed or processed by the Probate Court. It is a form to be completed by an heir, person who was the guardian, trustee or person named in the will to act as Personal Representative and presented to the institution or other entity holding an asset of the deceased.
This form is available from the office of your county Register in Probate or you may obtain the form from the Wisconsin Court System Website.
How do I get a Domiciliary Letter?
Domiciliary Letters are issued by the probate court either upon the filing of all required documents with the Probate Registrar for an informal proceeding, or after a hearing before the Circuit Judge or Probate Court Commissioner in a formal probate proceeding. The Domiciliary Letters show that the probate court has given the authority to the named personal representative to act on behalf of the estate of the decedent and to perform all duties required to administer the estate according to statute.
Please note that even though a person is nominated in a decedent’s will as personal representative, they do not have the authority to act until Domiciliary Letters have been granted to them by the probate court.
What if there is no Will? What happens then?
If the decedent did not leave a Will and a probate is required, the rules of Intestate Succession apply. See Chapter 852 of the Wisconsin State Statutes.
Who are the heirs?
The heirs are the "closest living relatives" of a person as defined by the Wisconsin Statutes. Heirs are entitled to notice of probate proceedings and will inherit all of the decedent's assets if he or she did not leave a Will. Review the following list until you find at least one living person. All of the people described in that category will be the heirs.
Spouse, or Spouse and children not of the current marriage (if any)
Children (and descendants of any child who is deceased)
Grandchildren (and descendants of a deceased grandchild)
Siblings (and descendants of siblings who are deceased)
Nieces and nephews (and descendants of those who are deceased)
What does a Personal Representative do?
Serving as personal representative is a very important job. You will be required to take an oath that you will uphold the law and you may be required to post a bond to protect the assets in the estate. You must keep all interested parties informed of the status of the estate proceedings and complete the estate in a timely fashion.
For all practical purposes, a personal representative is acting in place of the decedent. You are expected to handle the assets of the decedent just as any prudent person would handle their own assets.
Your duties will include taking possession of all the decedent's assets and filing an inventory including the date of death values of all assets you have in your control. You will be starting a checking account where you can keep accurate records of income and expenses.
You will give notice to creditors and may give notice to interested persons by publication in the newspaper. Notice must also be given to interested persons by mail or personal service if Waiver and Consent forms cannot be obtained.
You may be converting assets to cash, selling real estate, running a business, insuring and keeping property in good repair.
You will collect any income due to the decedent like interest, dividends, rent, etc. You will pay bills, settle proper claims or object to claims that are not appropriate.
There may be final and fiduciary tax returns to complete. You may be required to file a closing certificate for fiduciaries from the Department of Revenue. You are encouraged to utilize the services of a competent tax preparer, accountant, or an attorney to help you with this aspect of the estate.
You may be required to file a final accounting showing all money that came in to the estate between date of death and distribution and all money that was paid out of the estate.
You will distribute assets according to the Will and/or statutes and secure receipts from those receiving assets.
Finally, you will file a personal representative's statement to close estate. Six months after the filing of this statement, your duties are complete.
What is Informal Probate?
Informal probate is the administration of the decedent's estate, intestate (without a will) or testate (with a will), without the exercise of continue supervision by the Court. Informal administration proceedings are circuit court proceedings under probate jurisdiction and administered by the Probate Registrar.
When someone dies, do I have to go to the Probate Office?
If the person who died had a Will or Last Will and Testament, by state law, you must file the original Will with the Register in Probate within 30 days of the date of death even if no actual probate process is required.