Big Firm Experience. Small Town Care.

Why McCarthy Law Office? When you need a lawyer, you need the best. For 25 years Scott McCarthy has helped people with family issues, litigate contract disputes, recover losses from injury and wrongful death and manage their mistakes. He is an experienced attorney who knows the system.  He has the passion, breadth of experience and knowledge, that gives his clients their best possible results. Scott has a reputation for sharp, honest evaluations, calling people back promptly, being on time to meetings and court appearances, meticulous preparation for trial and his desire to see their case through so his client's lives can continue on their best possible course forward.

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Wills and Probate Lawyer

Wills are essentially an advanced directive. There are many other advanced directives as well, including power of attorney for healthcare, durable power of attorney for finances and living wills. The size of your estate will often dictate the type of will necessary for your circumstances.

Most people need a relatively standard will. Often husbands and wives have virtually identical wills. Generally the husband leaves everything to the wife and the wife leaves everything to the husband. If one of the parties predeceases the other, everything is left to the children in equal shares.

Each of the parties must also name a personal representative. The personal representative is responsible for taking care of the deceased party’s assets and liabilities until the probate is completed. Essentially, the personal representative makes sure all of the bills are being paid and makse an inventory of all of the assets and liabilities

The parties must also name a guardian of the person for their children. The parties can name the same person or different people. For example, mom might name her parents while dad might name his parents. Usually the parties name each other first and then someone else as a backup in case both mom and dad pass away at the same time.

Finally, people usually form a trust for the benefit of their minor children in case both parents pass away in a single accident. The parties then name a trustee who makes financial decisions regarding the kid's money until they reach the age set forth in the trust - often 25 years old or later. Most people do not want an 18 year old child to have free reign with a substantial sum of money.

You can also make specific bequests. For example, mom could leave her jewelry to her daughter while dad could leave his rifles to his son. Sometimes there are important family heirlooms that you would like to have in the possession of one particular child. Your will can do anything you want it to do. Please call Scott at 608 – 352 – 3366 or email Scott at

If you have an estate exceeding $1 million you may need a more complicated will or a revocable or irrevocable trust. Your age and health may also dictate the use of other estate planning tools. During your initial conference Scott will talk to you about many of these issues and discuss various alternatives.


Probate is a procedure by which a deceased person's liabilities are paid and assets are disseminated to the individuals listed in the deceased person’s will or, if there is no will, to the deceased person's rightful heirs.

Before a deceased person's assets can be disseminated, the court requires that notice of their passing be published in the local newspaper so creditors can make a claim if they are owed money. If creditors fail to file their claim within the statutory guidelines, after notice is properly published, their claim is extinguished.

In addition, all potential heirs must be sent a copy of the will and notice of the probate. Anyone with an interest in the estate can contest anything the personal representative plans to do. Generally that does not happen. However, if that happens, Scott's litigation experience will pay dividends.

At the conclusion, a list of liabilities paid and a plan for the dissemination of assets is presented to the court. In the vast majority of cases, this plan is approved by the court and becomes the order of the court which finalizes the matter. This can be a cumbersome and complicated process. Please call Scott at 608 – 352 – 3366 or e-mail Scott at to discuss probate procedure or ask any questions you may have.

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