Is there a set amount that does not justify a lawyer on a few dollars, such as under $5,000.00?

Asked on June 29, 2009 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your question is unclear.  Since it is in the Wills, Trusts and Probate section I am going to see if I can re-phrase it for you.  If I don't, please ask it again in greater detail.

Are you asking if an estate is only $5,000 does it justify getting a lawyer to Probate it?  I am not admitted in Wisconsin but Wisconsin has made provisions for Small Estates.  Some have written that the laws are very complex and difficult to understand. 

Others indicate that it is a simplified probate process for small estates. To use it, an executor files a written request with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.

You can use the simplified small estate process in Wisconsin if the value of the estate, less mortgages and encumbrances, is $50,000 or less and the deceased person is survived by a spouse or minor children. Also available if the value of the estate, less mortgages and encumbrances, does not exceed costs, expenses, allowances, and claims. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 867.01.

I would go down to the Probate Court in the County in which the decedent lived and as the clerk for help. The clerks know everything and are very helpful, especially with small estates.  And the clerk can let you know if using a lawyer in your situation is necessary.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.