Ashland, WI asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin

Q: My dad died 6 years ago & his house is still in his name even though I live in it. How do I get it in my name w/out atty

I have my dad's Will. It names me and both my brothers as the homeowner's in the event of his death. My brother's want to quit claim deed their share to me since I live in the house and need to get it in my name to get homeowner's insurance on it. I was told it has to go through Probate. I don't have the $ for an attorney (been quoted between $800 -$2400). How can I get this done on my own? Or can I? I'm totally lost and don't know what to do. Me and my brothers are all indigent and can't afford the lawyer fee's. Any suggestions?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: I am sorry to hear about your father's passing. I would suggest either saving up the money to hire an attorney to help you get the house through probate, or attempting to open the probate process on your own. If the real estate has value (presumably it does since you want to get the house into your name), then it is likely worth the attorney fees to get the house transferred into your name. Your Father's Estate would be responsible for paying these Attorney Fees. If the only asset in the Estate is the house, then the fees could be paid out of the equity in the house at the end of the proceeding. You and your brother could borrow against the house once it is in your name to pay off the attorney fees and court costs. This is just one method. However, I would suggest saving up the money and then conducting the probate. It is possibly your Father had other assets, such as life insurance, bank accounts, or retirement assets, that could be an asset of his estate as well and those could be used to pay the attorney fees on the probate is completed. Usually the Will says that any "fees and costs of administration" are to be paid out of the Estate before the rest is distributed to the heirs. Your other option is to open the probate on your own. Here is a helpful guide designed to be a helpful resource to Probate for people who are unwiling or unable to hire an attorney. You can access it here Best of luck to you!

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