Legal Will in Wisconsin (also known as a Last Will and Testament)

What is a Legal Will in Wisconsin?

  • A legal will in Wisconsin is a legal document.  After you die, a will determines what happens to your property.  A will prevents the government from taking your property.  It also makes clear who should receive your assets after your death.  A will is also called a “last will and testament.”    

Here is an example of a basic will template.  As you can see, even a basic will is full of legal terms.  Thus, you should always consult with an estate planning attorney.  Contact us and we will review your basic will. 

A legal will in Wisconsin determines:

  • Which people will get your property when you die.
  • Which people won’t get your property when you die
  • Who will take care of your minor children
  • Whether some of your assets will go to charity
  • How much federal estate tax the government will take

Legal Will in Wisconsin

What If I Die without a Will?

If you die without a will, the government divides your property.  Wisconsin law dictates who receives your property and how much.  Generally, your property will be given to your family members.  Mostly to your spouse and children.   

Can I Change My Will?

Yes.  You can change your will at any time.  You can either write an entirely new will or add to your existing will.  Many things can happen that might cause you to change your will.  These include marriage, having children, getting divorced, or a change in the value of  your estate.

Can I Write My Own Legal Will in Wisconsin?

Yes, but we do not recommend that you write you own will.  Why?  

First, the basic will forms you can find online or in stores are very basic.  These basic will forms often cannot be tailored to your situation.   Therefore, it is important to have an estate planning attorney draft your will.  This will ensure that the will is tailored to your specific situation.  Also, this will ensure that everything important is included in the will.  If you try to change the will form to fit your situation the will may no longer be valid in Wisconsin.

Second, the most critical part of drafting your will is listing your assets and debts.  This can get tricky in Wisconsin.  For example, if you are married you likely own only 50% of your property.  For example, you likely own a 50% (not 100%) interest in your house and car.  This is due to Wisconsin’s marital property law.  If you leave your car or house to your child in a will you are really only leaving the child a 50% interest.  Clearly, this can create problems down the road.        

IS DRAFTING A WILL EXPENSIVE?

This depends on how complicated your will is.  To draft a basic will or make changes to an existing will the cost is usually a few hundred dollars.  We offer free consultations. 

Call Glinski Law Office at (262) 632-1555 to schedule a consultation

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