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Estate Planning Attorney
We understand that it can be uncomfortable thinking about your eventual death. However, by taking the time to speak with our estate planning attorney now you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your loved ones are provided for and your wishes will be carried out. Call us now at 715-842-2162 so we can help you get your legal life in order.
Do I need a will or trust?
If you do not have a will, the State of Wisconsin provides a default plan for how your assets will be distributed upon your death. These default rules are probably not what you intended, especially in the situation where parties have remarried or have lived together without getting married.
A trust can be a useful tool for passing on assets to a spouse, child or loved one with rules put in place to protect and provide for their well-being long after you have passed away. It is also one option for avoiding probate.
Having estate planning documents such as a will or trust drafted now will insure that your wishes are carried out in the future.
What is probate, and why do I want to avoid it?
Probate is the court supervised distribution of a person’s property after they have died.
It involves filings and deadlines with the probate court, which you may need to hire an attorney to help you navigate. Proceeding through the probate system often takes six months to a year after your death.
The filings with the probate court will detail your assets and how they are distributed upon your death, and are open records available to the public. If you prefer to keep your affairs private, you may wish to avoid these disclosures.
The time, expense and public disclosures that are part of the probate process can all be avoided through the use of tools such as trusts, marital property agreements, or the proper titling of assets. We will work with you to find the solution that is right for you.
Why do I need a power of attorney?
A properly prepared power of attorney form allows you to name someone else who can make decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them yourself.
We recommend that all of our estate planning clients have power of attorney forms completed giving someone the ability to carry out your wishes related to both health care and finances.
Having these documents in place avoids the need for your family to go to court to have a guardian or conservator named to make decisions for you, and the related cost and emotional turmoil that this may entail.
What if I already had estate planning documents prepared years ago?
Your life circumstances and the laws both change over time.
Most major life events – a marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, the death of a loved one – all are appropriate times to make sure that the documents you currently have in place still reflect your wishes.
For example, trusts that were drafted years ago before the estate tax laws changed may now create unnecessary expenses and unintended consequences.
Our experienced estate planning attorney can review your old documents to make sure that they will still protect you and provide the legacy you intended.
Can you assist me with planning for Medicaid eligibility?
As life expectancies continue to rise, more and more people are finding that they need assistance in one form or another as they age. There are many options that are available for this care, including: assisted living centers; in-home care providers; and nursing homes.
We will discuss your health, your assets and insurance, and the options that are available to you. This may involve planning to meet Medicaid eligibility rules.
Our estate planning attorney has over twelve years of experience helping people with their estate planning needs. He will meet with you, review your situation and your plans for the future, and will craft individualized documents that will insure that your wishes are fulfilled and the legacy that you wish to leave behind is firmly established.
Let’s work together.
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