Administrator of Wills Responsibilities in Wisconsin
- Throughout the process it is important for the administrator to record the various tasks she undertakes and when they were completed. Having a written timeline will help make the process smoother.
- One of the first actions to record is obtaining the death certificate, which is necessary to begin the probate process. In Wisconsin, the administrator of will is also responsible for notifying members of the deceased's family who may not yet know of the death.
- In Wisconsin, the administrator of wills needs to also obtain the deceased's employee identification number (EIN) or federal tax number for the estate.
- The next step for the administrator of wills is to file the will with the probate court. The administrator may complete this process herself or through an attorney. In most counties, the necessary documents are available on the court website. Filing the will and court documents officially begins the legal process.
- The administrator of will must advertise his identity, usually by publication in a newspaper classified section. If the deceased has outstanding debts, lenders and other claimants need to know who they can contact to claim their money.
- The administrator of wills should open estate checking and savings accounts. Other paperwork that should be completed early in the process includes gathering the deceased's birth certificate, canceled checks, vehicle titles, military discharge papers, employee benefit information, personal and business income information and marriage certificates.
- In Wisconsin, an administrator of will must also compile a list of the estate's assets. This list will include the contents of any safety deposit box, brokerage accounts, bank accounts, and mutual funds. Estate assets also include the deceased's business interests, personal property and real estate.
- Until the inheritor takes over, the administrator must manage the estate's assets. This includes paying all final debts and bills and negotiating or re-negotiating leases. The administrator of will in Wisconsin should keep a list of all payments and expenses as well as any income that occurs during this time. A responsible administrator will also conservatively invest estate assets as needed.
- The administrator needs to prepare a final accounting list of the estate. This final list will go to the clerk of the probate court. Once the estate and will are settled, the administrator must file a petition asking the court to dismiss herself as executor.