Rock County Courthouse
51 South Main Street
Janesville, WI 53545
608-757-5635 or 608-757-5636
Monday - Friday Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Under the supervision of the Circuit Court, the Register in Probate oversees the administration of estates, “testamentary” trusts, guardianships, and mental health commitments. The Register in Probate also makes and keeps records of proceedings; and maintains records of wills admitted to probate, wills for safekeeping, guardianships, and mental health commitments.
Matters involving “living” or “inter vivos” trusts are handled in the Circuit Court through the Clerk of Circuit Court, not through the Register in Probate Office.
PLEASE NOTE: The Register in Probate can not give you legal advice. The information provided in this site is intended to serve primarily as procedural guidance.
What is Probate? Probate estate administration is a court supervised process for the orderly transfer of a decedent's assets to those persons or entities entitled to receive them and may involve transfers under the laws of intestacy or transfers pursuant to a will which has been "admitted to probate" by the court.
We hope that this website will be of use to you concerning the various matters that come before the probate court and that the links provided will assist you in furthering your search for information on the probate court.
Searching for existing Estate Records?
Go to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access and follow the instructions to obtain case numbers and information on the status of the case. If you cannot find the case, the Probate Office can do a search for you, but there is a $4.00 fee.
The Rock County Register in Probate is responsible for the administration of the Probate Office and the filing and keeping of all probate records. ?Wills filed for safekeeping by persons living in Rock County Wisconsin.
- Wills filed of persons who died while a resident of Rock County Wisconsin.
- Formal, informal, special or summary administrations of estates of deceased persons, who died domiciled in Rock County, Wisconsin or who had property in Rock County, Wisconsin requiring administration.
- Testamentary trust administrations.
- Ancillary estate administrations of property of deceased persons from other jurisdictions.
- Involuntary mental health commitments.
- Guardianships of incompetent persons.
- Guardianships of minors (when there are no court orders for custody or placement from a juvenile court or family court).
- Certificates of and Petitions for summary confirmations of interests in property.
- Certificates of and Petitions for determination of descent of property.
- Power of attorney for health care instruments for safekeeping.
The Probate Office does not accept for filing or keep records of:
- A living or "inter vivos" trust (a trust that was created by a living person under a document that is not a will, often designed to avoid probate administration of the person's estate after he or she dies), or Transfers of property of deceased persons under a Transfer by Affidavit form.
The various methods of Probate Administration are defined as follows:
- "Ancillary" administration is a form of formal administration of a non-resident decedent's estate which is subordinate or auxiliary to an estate administration from outside the State of Wisconsin. An attorney is required for the local representative in these matters.
- "Formal" administration is the administration of decedents' estates, testate (with a will) and intestate (without a will) under the continuous supervision of the probate court. In formal administration the personal representative must appear in court by an attorney.
- "Informal" administration is the administration of decedents' estates, testate (with a will) and intestate (without a will) without the continuous supervision of the probate court. An attorney is not required unless formal court proceedings are necessary.
- "Special" administration is a form of "formal" administration and may be used to conserve or administer the estate of a decedent before letters of appointment can be issued to a personal representative, to aid in the settlement of estates under summary administrations, or for other reasons authorized by statute. An attorney may be required, in some cases, for the special administrator to appear in court.
- "Summary" administration may be either summary assignment or summary settlement of estates of a decedent having a value of less than $50,000. An attorney is not required for these proceedings.
- "Testamentary" trust administrations are administrations of trusts that are established under wills f decedents that have been admitted to probate.
- "Transfer by Affidavit" is a procedure, authorized by statute, to transfer a decedent's solely owned property, having a value of $50,000 or less, without involvement of the probate court.
|Statutory Reference||Type of Fee||Fee|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(a)2||Inventory Filing Fee for a deceased person's estate valued at $10,000 or less||$20.00|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(a)2||Inventory Filing Fee for a deceased person's estate valued at more than $10,000||0.2% of the value of property subject to administration, less encumbrances, liens or charges|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)2||Guardianship of Estate or Conservatorship if the value of property is $50,000 or less||$20.00|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)2||Guardianship of Estate or Conservatorship if the value of property is more than $50,000||0.2% of the value of the property, less encumbrances, liens or charges|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(c)||Certificate Terminating Life Estate||$3|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(d)||Certificate or judgment of descent of lands||Same as 814.66(1)(a)2|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(e)||Objection to Probate of Will||$20|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(f)||Will for Safekeeping||$10|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(g)||Certificate signed by Register in Probate or a Circuit Court Judge||$3|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(h)||Copies, certified or otherwise||$1 per page|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(i)||Claim Against Estate||$3|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(j)||Searching for file or record when case number is not given||$4|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(k)||Power of Attorney for Health Care for Safekeeping||$8|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(l)||Declaration for Safekeeping||$8|
|Sec. 814.66(1)(b)3(m)||Petition to commence an independent action (Petition for Grandparent Visitation)||$60|
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