I have always offered clients the service of placing their will in the courthouse vault of the county where they reside. The cost to keep your will in the courthouse vault is $10.00 forever and ever. If of course you have a new will, it will be another $10.00 to put the new one in and we pull out the old one and shred it. So many attorneys don't know that this option exists or don't tell their clients. Two weeks ago I was at a Milwaukee County probate meeting and the question of lost wills came up. I replied, "What lost wills? My clients have theirs in the vault." All the commissioners and probate court personal were busy nodding and smiling. Of course the next week I took on a probate case where we couldn't find the original will. The deceased client did have a copy. His attorney says he doesn't have the original. So we had start a special administration in probate court to hire a locksmith to get into his bank box. Of course there was no will there. So now we are starting a formal probate to prove up the copy of the will. The expenses for this are adding up quickly. Probably an extra $1,500. Make sure your wills are safe and accessible to your loved one. Not only will it save time and aggravation it will save money.
Effective July 1, 2014, Wisconsin has adopted new legislation affecting trusts. The new law is based on the Uniform Trust Law provisions and pertains to all types of trust. Most of the new law is very helpful and will be quite favorable. For example, pet trusts are now official and sanctioned in Wisconsin. Before they were allowed by the discretion of the courts. There are still some issues unresolved and a few things that clients may not like. One of the possible issues that may be distasteful for some is the requirement of giving notice to potential future beneficiaries of a trust. Many individuals will not like that requirement. With the change in law, it may very well be time for clients to review with their legal counsel their current trusts to make sure that the trust is in conformity with the law or override the law if that is what they desire.
I love a website with a blog. Now I have a platform to write about all the fun things I get to do as an attorney. So look for more posts and feel free to ask me to write about various topics that are of interest to you.