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Understanding the Three P’s of Estate Planning

Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC’s estate planning attorneys, serving Madison, Rockford, and the surrounding areas, are ready to help you with your unique estate planning and elder law needs. However, before we get started here are the important three P’s of estate planning to consider.

#1 – People

Who are the important people in your life? Beginning with yourself, they also likely include your loved ones: your spouse if you are married, children and grandchildren if you have any, perhaps your parents, siblings, or other relatives. Beyond these, however, “important people” also could include charities, special causes, colleges or universities, or churches to which you are committed. For some, “important people” could even include pets. Spend some time thinking about the impact others have had on your life. Make a list and jot notes if you like. This is where the planning process truly begins.

#2 – Property

By property we mean your assets in general. Make a list of the assets you own or control. At this point, you do not need to identify insurance policy numbers and exact dollar values. Rather, think through your assets in terms of their nature (cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.); their value in thousands of dollars; and your ownership interest: Do you own assets in your name only, in joint tenancy with someone else, or through a trust agreement or some other arrangement? Be sure to include often-overlooked assets like life insurance (the death benefit, not the cash value), business interests, and any inheritance you may expect to receive.

#3 – Plans

After identifying the important people in your life and your property, the next step is to consider the plans you would make for those people (including yourself) and that property in the event of your own incapacity or death.

Who would you name to make decisions for you if you could no longer do so yourself? Would the same person handle your finances and your personal and health care decisions? Who would care for your minor children? How would you distribute your assets to your heirs? Would you prefer to spare your heirs the potential cost and hassles of the probate process? Would you like to minimize the impact of estate taxes…or maximize the impact of a charitable bequest? Is there someone in your family with special needs for whom you would like to provide? Is there someone who perhaps should not receive a great deal of (or any) money without some outside oversight?

These are just a few of the issues to consider when approaching the planning process. They are much more important than the “treasure hunt” for legal documents at this stage.

When you are ready to schedule a free consultation with our Madison estate planning attorneys, please complete our online form or give us a call at (608) 344-5491.

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    “What a great attorney! He explained everything to us in plain English, with no legal jargon. He took the time to understand our goals and our family situation. He was friendly, thorough, and very ...”

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  • Krause Donovan was wonderful...they asked all the right questions, were patient with our back and forth, and everything was wrapped up successfully.

    “My husband and I needed a will and turned to Krause Donovan for their help after the firm had invited us to a "what is estate planning all" about dinner/meeting. Having a will was something we knew we ...”

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  • Nelson was very understanding and put me at ease from the introduction. He thoroughly explained processes, answered all questions, took the time needed, and was detail-oriented.

    “I first met with Mr. Donovan this fall to discuss my estate planning. This is something a person dreads doing, but Nelson was very understanding and put me at ease from the introduction. He thoroughly ...”

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  • They explain the process in terms that are easily understandable and always have your best interests in mind.

    “I highly recommend Kraus Donovan for all of your estate planning needs. They are thorough, knowledgeable, and very helpful. They explain the process in terms that are easily understandable and always ...”

    - Barbara
  • He was able to guide us through this process with a thorough understanding of what decisions we needed to make to create clear directives for our family to follow if needed.

    “My husband and I went to Dan to help plan our estate. He and the folks at Krause Donovan were very professional, friendly, and efficient. Dan is fluent in what he practices. He was able to guide us ...”

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