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This article discusses part 2 of our 5-part series on key information regarding Informal Estate Administration in Wisconsin.

This article discusses part 2 of our 5-part series on key information regarding Informal Estate Administration in Wisconsin.

Where Should An Informal Estate Administration Application Be Filed?  

The decedent's informal estate administration application should be filed in the county where he or she was "domiciled" at the time of death. If the dead did not have a Wisconsin domicile, an application for informal estate administration may be submitted in any Wisconsin county where the decedent's property is located.

The decedent's informal estate administration application should be filed in the county where he or she was "domiciled" at the time of death. If the dead did not have a Wisconsin domicile, an application for informal estate administration may be submitted in any Wisconsin county where the decedent's property is located.  

Does Informal Estate Administration Require The Use Of An Attorney?  

While Wisconsin regulations do not compel you to hire an attorney to help with an informal estate administration, you are free to seek legal counsel or services at any time during the process. A demand for formal proceedings may also be made with the court at any point during the estate administration procedure, necessitating the assistance of an attorney.  

It's crucial to keep in mind that the majority of Probate Registrars aren't attorneys. Registrars are not allowed to give legal advice, even if they are attorneys. A Registrar's job is to advise a personal representative in the drafting of any of the documents required to be filed with the court in an informal estate administration, to the extent that this is within the Registrar's competence. Consider this guidance as to how to fill out the various forms, not as to how you should proceed in any area. This brochure is an attempt to assist the Registrar in providing required document preparation assistance to a personal representative. 

What Is The Best Way To Start An Informal Estate Administration? 

The following forms must be completed at all times during the startup process:  

• Informal Administration Application (PR-1801)  

• Proof of Heirship (PR-1806)  

• Consent to Serve (PR-1807)  

• Informal Administration Statement (PR-1808) 

• Domiciliary Letters (PR-1810)  

The following forms are also required if you have secured the signatures of all interested parties on the Waiver and Consent form:  

• Informal Administration (Waiver and Consent) (PR-1803) 

• Creditors' Notice (PR-1804) 

You will be required to complete this form instead if you did not acquire the signatures of all interested parties on the Waiver and Consent form:  

• Notice of Application Hearing and Claims Filing Deadlines (Informal Administration) (PR-1805) 

Depending on local practice and who the heirs/beneficiaries are, the Probate Registrar may demand the following documents: 

• In the case of an estate or trust, a signature bond (PR-1809) is required  

• Probate Affidavit of Service (PR-1817)  

• Consent to Serve as Trustee PR-1930) (signed by nominated trustee – may include Resident Agent Appointment/Acceptance)  

• Informal and Formal Administration Letters of Trust (PR-1931)  

• Resignation or Declination to Serve (Informal and Formal Administration) (PR-1802)  

• Appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem or an Attorney (GF-131)  

• Order Dispensing with Guardian ad Litem (Informal and Formal Administration) (PR-1820) 

• Petition to Discharge Guardian ad Litem (Informal and Formal Administration) (PR-1820) (PR-1821)

• Notice of Probate Claims (#HCF-13033) 

You're now ready to submit an informal estate administration petition. When you're ready to file the following paperwork, it's always a good idea (and in some counties, compulsory) to schedule an appointment with the Probate Registrar or a designated staff member. (If you have an original Will/Codicil/Marital Property Agreement, bring it with you.) 

Informal Estate Administration: How Do I Complete It? 

In an informal estate administration, the following documents must be filed: 

• Affidavit or Publication Proof  

• Inventory (PR-1811)  

• Inventory to Heirs/Beneficiaries Affidavit of Service (Probate) (PR-1817)  

• Informal and Formal Administration Receipt (PR-1815)  

• Personal Representative's Statement to Close the Estate (Informal Administration) (PR-1816) 

Depending on local practice and/or the specifics of the estate you're administering, the Probate Registrar may require the following documents: 

• Affidavit of Service (Probate) (PR-1817) (of final Estate Account to Heirs/Beneficiaries) 

• Affidavit of Service (Probate) (PR-1817)  

• Ward Distribution Notification (Informal and Formal Administration) (PR-1822) 

At least ten days before the distribution, notify the court appointing a guardian of the estate of the entire property to be distributed to the guardian of the estate for the benefit of the guardian's ward.

• Fiduciaries' Closing Certificate  

• Proof of Recording of Documents Transferring Real Estate 

• Statement of Transfer of Interest in Property (Informal Administration) • Receipt for Perpetual Care or Funeral Receipt (PR-1828)  

• Informal Administration: Statement of Termination and Confirmation of Interest(s) in Property (PR-1827) 

The requirements in your county will be provided by your local Probate Registrar. 

Click here to continue on to part 3 of our 5-part series.  

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