Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Worry Less and Protect All of Your Hard Work with a Will
When someone passes away without a will in Wisconsin, their assets are subject to intestate succession laws. This guide explores the intricacies of intestate succession and what happens to your money and property if you don’t have a will.
Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Assets Subject to Intestate Succession
Not all assets are affected by intestate succession. Assets that pass through probate are the ones subject to these laws. Assets like property held in a living trust, life insurance with named beneficiaries, retirement accounts with beneficiaries, and more bypass probate and intestate succession.
Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Inheritance Based on Family Structure
Who inherits your assets under intestate succession depends on your family structure:
- Children but No Spouse: Children inherit everything.
- Spouse but No Children: The spouse inherits everything.
- Spouse and Children from That Spouse: The spouse inherits everything.
- Spouse and Children, Some Not from That Spouse: The spouse inherits a portion of your separate property, while children inherit the rest.
- Parents but No Spouse or Children: Parents inherit everything.
- Siblings but No Spouse, Children, or Parents: Siblings inherit everything.
Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Spousal Inheritance Rules
Spousal inheritance varies based on property ownership:
- Community Property: The spouse inherits all community and separate property unless there are children from a previous relationship, in which case, the spouse inherits only half of your separate property.
- Separate Property: The spouse inherits all separate property unless there are children from a previous relationship, in which case, the spouse inherits only half of your separate property.
Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Children’s Inheritance
Children inherit a portion of your assets depending on various factors, including whether you have a surviving spouse, the number of children, and their origins. This includes adopted children, children born outside of marriage, posthumous children, and stepchildren under certain conditions.
Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Assets Not Subject to Intestate Succession
Not all assets go through intestate succession. If you have no surviving relatives, your assets could potentially go to the state. However, Wisconsin’s laws are designed to ensure assets go to any remotely related individuals before going to the state.
Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Other Intestate Succession Rules
- Survivorship Period: To inherit intestate, a person must outlive you by 120 hours.
- Half-Relatives: “Half” relatives inherit as if they were “whole.”
- Posthumous Relatives: Relatives born after your death inherit as if they were born while you were alive.
- Immigration Status: Relatives entitled to an intestate share inherit regardless of their immigration status.
- Homicide: Someone who “unlawfully and intentionally” kills you will usually not receive a share of your property.
Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin: Don’t Leave Your Estate to Chance
Dying without a will can lead to complex distribution of your assets. To ensure your wishes are followed and your loved ones are cared for, create a will. Contact Dahlberg Law Group, and Attorney Steve Eichstaedt will guide you through the process, providing expert estate planning assistance tailored to your needs.
FAQs about Avoid Intestacy in Wisconsin
What happens if I die without a will in Wisconsin? If you die without a will in Wisconsin, your assets will be distributed according to intestate succession laws. Your closest relatives will inherit your assets as determined by state law.
Can I disinherit someone in Wisconsin if I don’t have a will? Without a will, you cannot disinherit someone in Wisconsin. Intestate succession laws dictate how your assets are distributed among your relatives.
What if I have no surviving relatives in Wisconsin? If you have no surviving relatives, your assets may go to the state of Wisconsin. However, the laws prioritize distributing assets to any remotely related individuals before going to the state.
How can I avoid intestate succession in Wisconsin? To avoid intestate succession and ensure your assets go to your chosen beneficiaries, it’s essential to create a valid will. Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney like Attorney Steve Eichstaedt at Dahlberg Law Group can help you create a comprehensive estate plan.
Seek Guidance from an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is a highly personalized process, and the documents you need depend on your unique circumstances and objectives. To ensure you have the right estate planning documents in place, it’s advisable to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Attorney Steve Eichstaedt of Dahlberg Law Group possesses the knowledge and expertise to help you tailor your estate plan to meet your specific needs and goals. Contact Dahlberg Law Group to safeguard your legacy.
Additional Resources for Estate Planning
For further information on the estate planning process, consider exploring these additional resources: