Serving Clients Throughout Wisconsin

Focus on Minor Children: An Estate Plan Can Keep them Sheltered (and send them to college)

It may come as a surprise to you that more than half of all parents have no estate plan in place — not even a basic will. As your family celebrates the wonderful aspects of their lives, it may seem like an awkward or remote time to focus on an untimely death or incapacity. But, with so much at stake, one of the most responsible things new parents can do is make sure that their estate plans are in order to ensure that, in the event of the unthinkable, their children will receive the sort of care they would want.

One of the vital benefits of your estate plan if you have minor or disabled children is the option to nominate a guardian. If you have discussed with trusted relatives or friends their willingness to care for your children if tragedy were to befall you (or you and your spouse), nominating a guardian in your will allows you to communicate this to the courts. In Wisconsin, the court will appoint the guardian you name in a will unless it is not in the best interest of the child.

Additionally, your estate plan gives you the chance to control how your children receive their inheritance. Perhaps you plan to leave your children a substantial amount of wealth upon your death, but you are concerned about your child or children assuming complete control over the full amount immediately upon their eighteenth birthdays. With detailed planning, you can avoid that scenario. You can create a living trust that continues to hold your children’s wealth until the dates you prescribe. Until that time, the trustee of the trust manages the assets for your children.

You can also provide money and incentives for your children to go to college. There are many ways to write trusts that encourage beneficiaries to make certain choices in their lives, and to achieve certain milestones.

Additionally, you can create a trust within your will to accomplish similar ends. A testamentary trust is a trust that comes into effect when your will is probated. You can, in your will, state what assets go into that trust, when those assets are to be distributed to your child and who shall manage those assets (as the trust’s trustee) until the time the trust disburses them to your child. In one famous example, the late singer Whitney Houston established a testamentary trust for her only daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Houston’s will established three distribution dates (Bobbi Kristina’s 21st, 25th and 30th birthdays,) also stated the portion of Houston’s estate she should receive at each milestone and named the trustees who would manage the assets (Houston’s mother and sister-in-law).

Testamentary trusts differ from living trusts in substantial ways. A testamentary trust may only come into effect after a will has been probated, while living trusts avoid probate. In some cases, crafting a plan that avoids probate may offer many useful benefits. To get the highest caliber advice about what type of plan will best allow you to provide for your children, even in the unlikely event of your untimely death or incapacity, contact estate planning attorney Daniel J. Krause of Krause Law Offices LLC. He has the knowledge and experience needed to help protect your family. Consult Attorney Daniel J. Krause to get your plan started today.

Contact us through our website to schedule your confidential, no obligation initial consultation.



Quality Counsel

Experience You Can Count On

What Sets Us Apart?

Our Philosophy
  • Cutting Edge
  • Authentic
  • Respect
  • Empathy
    She was very responsive and always made sure to answer any questions we had.

    “Our experience with Danielle was very professional and efficient even with having to do everything through zoom due to Covid. She was very responsive and always made sure to answer any questions we ha ...”

    - Shannon
    [Matt] was very engaging and rephrased any questions we didn't udnerstand.

    “Matt was able to answer my questions without all the legal mumbo jumbo. He was very engaging and rephrased any questions we didn't udnerstand. Due to COVID pandemic, we were limited to a phone ...”

    - Steven
    [Matt] was very helpful...

    “He was very helpful in answering our questions and providing guidance that we understood.”

    - Troy
    He took the time to understand our goals and our family situation. He was friendly, thorough, and very knowledgeable.

    “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 ...”

    - Mark
    He 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 this firm 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 ...”

    - Kris
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your address.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter your zip code.
    This isn't a valid zip cide.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.