How to Avoid Probate in Wisconsin
Properly titling of Property and Naming BeneficiariesJoint ownership of property with rights of survivorship can be an effective method of avoiding probate and is important for many reasons other than avoiding probate. Insurance policies, IRA's, retirement accounts and many other assets allow you to name a beneficiary who will inherit the account without a probate proceeding. Wisconsin recently passed legislation allowing you to name who will inherit your real property without the necessity of a probate proceeding. (Transfer on Death Deeds) Finally, many Bank accounts and investment accounts allow you to name a beneficiary who will inherit the account without a probate procedure through Payable or Transfer on Death provisions.
Living TrustsMost often used to avoid estate taxes, many couples take advantage of Living Trusts to avoid probate, even if they do not have a taxable estate.
GiftingIt is possible to give property away and still maintain the right to use it. For example, with a "life estate" you can give your house to your children while retaining the right to live in the house. Because giving your property away has tax and medical assistance implications, you should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney before taking this action.