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Life & Estate Planning

While preparing for illness, incapacity, or death can be emotionally difficult, careful planning helps protect your family, clarifies your wishes for your loved ones, and can reduce stress, conflict, probate expenses, and taxes. Life planning documents address illness and incapacitation. Estate planning documents address death and assets.

Life Planning

“Life planning” documents help protect you and your family in the event that you become seriously ill or injured. Through life planning documents, you may appoint agents to make important financial and health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. Such documents also express your wishes regarding crucial end of life decisions, such as whether you want to be kept on life support. Finally, life planning documents set forth decisions about your children’s care if you become too ill to care for them yourself. It is important to think through these difficult decisions, and to clearly express your wishes in formal documents, so that your loved ones are not left with uncertainty in addition to grief.

We Can Help You With The Following Life Planning:

  • Powers of Attorney for Health Care
  • Powers of Attorney for Finance
  • Living Wills
  • Anatomical gift donations
  • Disposition of remains instructions
  • HIPAA releases
  • Heath care facility visitation authorizations
  • Nominations of Guardian for Minor Children
  • Powers of Attorney Delegating Parental Power
  • Marital Property Agreements (pre- and post-marriage)
  • Cohabitation Agreements

Estate Planning

“Estate planning” documents help protect the family and friends you leave behind when you die. If you do not put an estate plan into place to determine how your assets will be distributed, the State of Wisconsin will make that decision for you though the intestacy laws. Intestacy laws govern the distribution of assets and the payment of debts when someone passes away without having a Will and other estate planning in place.

Estate planning is the process of executing certain documents, such as a Will or a Trust, as well as completing asset titles and beneficiary designations to coordinate with your Will or Trust. Estate planning ensures that your assets are correctly and efficiently distributed to your loved ones when you pass away. Through estate planning, you may also arrange for the physical and financial care of your minor children upon your death. Finally, estate planning assesses your potential estate tax liability, and, when necessary, helps you take proactive steps to reduce the amount of federal estate tax that may be owed at your death.

By putting a comprehensive estate plan in place, your loved ones may be able to avoid the probate process. “Probate” is the court process that verifies the authenticity of a decedent’s Will (or, if no Will exists, implements intestacy laws), ensures a decedent’s debts are paid, and distributes his or her assets to the appropriate beneficiaries. We can help you decide whether it is in your and your family’s interests to avoid the probate process, and if so, which non-probate instruments (such as beneficiary designations, transfer-on-death designations, or revocable trusts) best suit your needs.

We Can Help You With The Following Estate Planning:

  • Wills
  • Revocable Living Trusts (and other types of trusts)
  • Financial planning for the care of minor children through Minor Support Trusts or Uniform Transfers to Minors accounts
  • Nominations of Guardian for Minor Children
  • Beneficiary designation and property titling recommendations
  • Deed revisions
  • Estate and gift tax planning
  • Business succession planning
  • Marital Property Agreements (pre- and post-marriage)
  • Cohabitation Agreements

Photos on this page are copyrighted by Todd Klassy Photography, All Rights Reserved, 2020.