Location and Office Hours

Courthouse
Second Level
Room 201

414 W. Main St.
PO Box 97
Ellsworth, WI 54011

General Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
(Closed Holidays)

Phone: 715.273.6752
Fax: 715.273.6794

Staff Contacts

Probate Registrar
Register in Probate /
Juvenile Clerk
Carol DeWolf - EXT 6460
carol.dewolf@wicourts.gov


Deputy Register in Probate / Deputy Juvenile Clerk
Jenny Fitzgerald - EXT 6461


 

 

 

REGISTER IN PROBATE - Probate

Informal Administration


Informal administration is the most commonly used probate procedure. In most cases, you do not need an attorney to proceed informally. However, you may seek the advise of an attorney at any time during the probate process. An informal probate guideline is available for applicants who choose not to hire an attorney. The guideline explains the steps to take in an informal proceeding, lists the forms required, and provides general information to the applicant. the probate office can provide a packet of informal probate forms for a fee or the forms can be downloaded. A guideline to request a Closing Certificate for Fiduciaries from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue can also be downloaded.

Summary Settlement


A Summary Settlement proceeding can be used whenever there is a surviving spouse or minor children and the estate, less the amount of the debts for which any property is security, does not exceed $50,000. It may also be used whenever the value of the estate does not exceed the priority debts (e.g., administrative, funeral and burial, taxes, last illness, spousal and family allowances.) A summary settlement guideline is available for petitioners who choose not to hire an attorney. The guideline explains the steps to take in a summary settlement proceeding, lists the forms required and provides general information to the petitioner. Summary Settlement forms are available from the probate office or can be downloaded.

Summary Assignment

Summary Assignment can be used whenever the value of the estate, less the amount of the debts for which any property is security, does not exceed $50,000 and summary settlement does not apply. A Summary Assignment guideline is available for petitioners who choose not to hire an attorney. The guideline explains the steps to take in the summary assignment proceeding, lists the forms required, and provides general information to the petitioner. The probate office can provide the summary assignment packet of forms for a fee or the forms can be downloaded from the internet at Wisconsin Courts or Department of Health Services.

Special Administration

A special administrator can be appointed pursuant to the grounds specified in Sec. 867.07, Wis. Stats. A Special Administration guideline is available for petitioners who choose not to hire an attorney. The guideline explains the steps to take in the special administration proceeding, lists the forms required, and provides general information to the petitioner. The probate office can provide the special administration packet of forms for a fee or the forms can be downloaded from the internet at Wisconsin Courts.

Filing the original Will

If the decedent left a Will, it must be filed with the Probate office within 30 days of death even if no probate is required. Complete and file with the Register in Probate office the Affidavit of No Probate form. The form can also be obtained in person at the Register in Probate office. If a probate proceeding is required, the decedent's original Will can be filed with the case initiation documents. There is no fee for filing the original Will.

Probate Benchmarks

Wisconsin Statutes require all estates to be settled as soon as reasonably possible and without unnecessary delay. The Wisconsin Chief Judges have set twelve (12) months as the benchmark for disposing of probate cases. Therefore, probate cases are to be disposed of within twelve (12) months of filing the case initiation documents.