WISCONSIN ESTATE PLANNING


WHAT IS AN ESTATE PLAN?

There are several goals associated with estate planning, they include:

  • Nominating an individual to make health care and or financial decisions for you should you be unable to do so
  • Making declarations to your physician about your wishes toward life-sustaining procedures if you have an incurable condition or you are in a persistent vegetative state
  • Creating a will to instruct the courts on how to distribute your property upon your death
  • If you have minor children, nominating a guardian and establishing a trust fund to control the distribution of your assets after your death (Under current law, a will is the only method of nominating a guardian for your minor children.)
  • Coordinating your life insurance and retirement plans to coincide with your will
  • Determining whether your estate may be subject to federal or state estate taxes
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WHO NEEDS ESTATE PLANNING?

Contrary to popular belief, estate plans are not exclusively for individuals with substantial wealth. Without the proper estate planning documents, your wishes may go unrecognized by the courts should you become incapacitated or die.

When you do not have an estate plan you are limiting your ability to instruct the court on your wishes about health care and financial decisions if you are incapacitated as well as how you would like your property distributed upon your death. Should you die without a will the court will nominate a personal representative to administer your estate and property will be distributed according to statutory guidelines.

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THE ESTATE PLANNING PROCESS

Our firm aims to make estate planning affordable and efficient; we have designed the following four-step system to assist you in gathering information, analyzing your options, and executing your documents:

  1. There is a comprehensive questionnaire designed to gather necessary biographical and financial information and to begin considering whom you would like to nominate for certain duties in your estate plan.
  2. There is a client conference to review the questionnaire, identify the required estate planning documents, and discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
  3. Drafts of your estate planning documents are reviewed in a second client meeting. At this time a thorough explanation of your documents is provided and you verify information such as birth dates and addresses.
  4. After updating your documents based on the second client meeting, we meet to sign your documents.

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WHEN TO UPDATE YOUR ESTATE PLAN

The following life events signify a need for you to consider estate planning:

  • Purchase of property, such as a home or condo
  • Marriage
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a spouse or partner
  • Desire to have a specific individual make health and or financial decisions for you

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