Estate PlanningProtecting Your Family & Legacy
Estate Planning Services in Madison, WI
Helping You Protect Your Legacy
Everyone has an estate plan – a plan for how their assets will be distributed after their death. Even if you have not proactively prepared for such events, the State has an automatic plan in place for you. However, you have the opportunity to draft an estate plan that suits your preferences and ensures that the distribution of your property is according to your wishes.
At Estate Law Partners, LLC, we have years of experience guiding clients through all kinds of estate planning strategies, including:
- Revocable living trusts
- Durable powers of attorney
- Probate & estate administration
- Charitable planning
- Asset protection
- Business succession planning
- Estate tax planning
- Health care documents
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of planning for the distribution and management of your assets during and after your lifetime. It involves creating strategies to minimize taxes, preserve assets, provide for heirs and protect against any potential legal or financial issues that may arise.
Estate planning typically includes:
- Creating a will
- Setting up trusts
- Transferring assets
- Naming beneficiaries
- Appointing guardians for minor children
- Assigning fiduciaries
Working with an estate planning attorney is the best way to ensure that all of your wishes are met and that your loved ones will be taken care of when you pass away. A qualified Madison estate planning attorney can help you create an estate plan that meets your goals while also minimizing taxes, managing legal issues, and ensuring that your wishes are carried out.
Call (608) 292-5185 to learn more about your estate planning options.
One of the most familiar elements of an estate plan is a last will and testament. Even those who have never done any research related to estate planning have usually heard of a will. What many do not know is what will happen if they do not have a will.
Dying "intestate," or without a will, leaves a person's assets to be distributed according to state laws. The State will determine both how and to whom an individual's assets will be distributed.
There are several other facts about wills you should know, including:
- A will does not go into effect until after someone dies. Therefore, a will cannot help a person declare how their affairs should be managed should they become incapacitated by illness or injury.
- A will cannot prevent an estate from entering into the probate process.
- A will can be used to designate who you wish to parent your children should they become orphaned.
“He took the time to understand our goals and our family situation. He was friendly, thorough, and very knowledgeable.”- Mark
“She was very responsive and always made sure to answer any questions we had.”- Shannon
“They explain the process in terms that are easily understandable and always have your best interests in mind.”- Barbara
“Matt Suing is a great attorney...”- Michael
“[Matt] was very helpful...”- Troy
There are multiple types of trusts, including irrevocable trusts, revocable living trusts, testamentary trusts, and special needs trusts. Trusts vary in complexity and are designed to serve a variety of different purposes. Fundamentally, all trusts revolve around the interaction of three parties: the settlor, the trustee, and the trust beneficiary.
The settlor is the person who funds the trust – places certain property and assets within it – on behalf of the beneficiary. The trustee is the person(s) or entity that controls the money or assets. Trust funds can hold a variety of assets, including cash, real property, stocks and bonds, and businesses.
There are several potential benefits of creating a trust, including:
Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives another individual the authority (powers) to act and make decisions on your behalf. The type of actions and decisions permitted vary depending on the terms of the document.
You should create a power of attorney if you would like to ensure you have someone who can make decisions about your affairs should you become incapacitated. Make sure to update your power of attorney frequently, since banks and other financial institutions may not honor documents that have not been updated for more than a year. Our Wisconsin estate planning lawyers have years of experience advising in this matter.
What is a Health Care Directive?
A health care directive, or advance directive, is a document that allows you to specify the type of medical and personal care you desire in the event that you become incapacitated. Similar to a power of attorney, you can also designate a person who will make and communicate decisions for you.
Along with an advance directive, you will also want to complete an authorization for specific individuals to access your medical information. Without this document, your doctor may refuse to give the necessary information to your designated decision-maker.
- Understanding The Basics Of Estate Planning PDF
- 4 Estate Planning Myths & Misconceptions
- Virtual Estate Planning: DIY Software vs. Attorneys
- When Should I Update My Estate Plan?
- Estate Planning Checklist for Couples
To learn more about your options for preparing for the future, contact Estate Law Partners, LLC at (608) 292-5185 now. Begin discussing your case in a free consultation with our Madison estate planning lawyers.