How can a Family Business Complicate My Estate Planning?

Family-owned businesses are often the most complex type of asset to deal with in estate planning. There are multiple stakeholders to consider. On the one hand, you may want your family to continue enjoying the benefits of owning the business. But you may also want to make sure the business continues to run in a […]

VA Pension Planning – Wartime Veterans Pension

The Veterans Administration has a program for wartime veterans and their widowed spouses to guarantee a minimum income for veterans or widow(er)s who qualify. If a veteran is 65 or older or is permanently or totally disabled for a reason or reasons that are unrelated to their military service and their income is below certain […]

Does My Will Need to be Witnessed?

Wills differ from most legal documents in that the person making the will, known in legal terms as the “testator,” is not around when the document is executed. This is why all states, including Wisconsin, require at least two people to witness the testator signing a will. If any dispute arises later over the validity […]

Does a Divorce Invalidate My Estate Plan?

Changes in the law can affect your estate plan without you realizing it. This is one reason why it is a good idea to sit down with a Madison estate planning lawyer every few years to review your will, trust, and related documents. Another reason you may need to revise your estate plan sooner rather […]

Can I Really Leave My House to My Cats?

In an early episode of the long-running family sitcom “The Simpsons,” Homer and Marge are looking to buy their first home. They come across a house they like, except for the fact it is filled with cats. When Homer suggests removing the animals, a cheerful real estate agent explains, “Actually, according to the Will, the […]

Can I Really Leave My House to My Cats? Explaining Pet Trusts

As much as we treat our cats, dogs, birds, and other pets like family, from a legal standpoint they are simply property. This means you cannot name a pet as a beneficiary of your will or trust.

Is a Guardianship Necessary if I Already Have Estate Planning Documents?

One of the common goals of Wisconsin estate planning is to avoid the need for a guardianship. A guardian in this context refers to a person appointed by a judge to make financial or medical decisions for a legally incompetent adult. Ideally, the adult will already have valid powers of attorney and healthcare directives in […]