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When Is a Probate Attorney Necessary? January 12, 2018

La Crosse, La Crosse County
When Is a Probate Attorney Necessary?, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Serving as the executor of an estate is no easy task. While you are certainly within your legal rights to administer the estate without professional legal aid, there are certain scenarios in which hiring a seasoned probate attorney will be beneficial. Read on to determine whether you should consider seeking legal counsel to assist in the probate process.

Formal Probate

In Wisconsin, there are two basic types of probate: formal and informal. Formal probate proceedings are supervised by a judge and require the use of a probate attorney to administer the estate. This administration process is necessary for situations involving a deceased executor as well as those where there is dispute surrounding the administration of assets following an intestate death.

Informal probate, on the other hand, refers to the administration of an estate without court supervision and does not require legal representation. That being said, executors are free to consult with a probate attorney regardless of whether formal proceedings are required.

Family Disputes

estate planning attorneyDisgruntled family members can quickly derail the administration of an estate. If the will is contested, hiring a probate attorney will often help expedite the court battle and minimize associated expenses.

Business Ties

The process of appraising, managing, transferring or selling a business can be quite complex. Hiring a professional executor to administer the business end of the estate will not only protect the business but also provide you with peace of mind in knowing these affairs are being handled properly.

Outstanding Debts

When estate assets can cover outstanding debts, the estate can often be administered without a probate attorney. However, if the total asset amount falls short in this regard, professional legal counsel may be necessary to ensure proper distribution.


If you require the aid of a seasoned probate or estate planning attorney in La Crosse, WI, Hale, Skemp Hanson, Skemp, & Skeik is the law firm to call. A full-service law office with over a century’s worth of experience, the legal team provides expert legal advice across an array of areas, including probate, trust planning, bankruptcy, family law, and more. Consultations are available; visit the firm online or call (608) 784-3540 to schedule an appointment.

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