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Estate Planning Protecting Your Family & Legacy

Madison Estate Planning Lawyers

Helping You Defend 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 Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC, we have years of experience guiding clients through all kinds of estate planning strategies, including:

  • Wills
  • Revocable living trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Health care documents

Take matters into your own hands. To find out which legal options are right for you, call our Madison estate planning attorneys at (608) 344-5491.

Your Last Will & Testament

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.


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:

  • Avoiding probate
  • Reducing estate and gift taxes
  • Gaining tax advantages for both the settlor and the beneficiary
  • Protecting property from creditors and lawsuits

Powers 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.

Health Care Directives

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.

To learn more about your options for preparing for the future, contact Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC at (608) 344-5491 now. Begin discussing your case in a free consultation with our Madison estate planning lawyers.

Watch Our Estate Planning Videos

  • The Basics of Estate Planning: Avoiding Unintended Consequences
  • How We Help Clients Go Through Estate Planning
  • Estate Planning Basics

The Stories That Matter

Read Our 5 Star Reviews
  • 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
  • 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 ...”

    - Kris
  • 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 ...”

    - Sherry
  • 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 ...”

    - Victoria
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