An Accomplished Wisconsin Estate-Planning Attorney Protects Your Assets
Preserving your family's wealth for future generations
Whether you are planning the parameters of your future medical care or you are establishing support for loved ones upon your death, the King Legal Group, S.C helps with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
-Estate tax issues
-Choosing the appropriate executor
Securing your legacy
You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you comfort. In thoroughly analyzing your estate, we strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.
Draft your living will and your last will and testament
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your living will sets the parameters for medical intervention in the event that you become incapacitated. This ensures that, when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored. Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death.
A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, it is the court that will determine how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pets making decisions that might not reflect your desires.
Our firm drafts a valid will to ensure that your intentions are honored.
Basic Estate Planning Documents:
Will - Wills are carried out through the probate proceeding. Probate is the process by which assets that are owned in your name, at your death, are transferred, under Court supervision, to your beneficiaries. In a probate proceeding, the Will is submitted to the Court and becomes public record. A personal representative is appointed by the Court to carry out the terms of the Will. Notice to creditors is published and final expenses must be paid. An Inventory of the estate's assets must be prepared and filed.
Tax returns must be filed and tax clearances obtained and filed with the Court. Assets must be liquidated or distributed and Receipts must be obtained. A final account is prepared for the Court. Probate is often time consuming because of the various Court deadlines, and costly because it may involve a great deal of attorney time.
Will Substitutes to Avoid Probate Process.
a. Joint ownership - delays probate until death of survivor
b. Transfer by beneficiary designation, i.e.
(1) life insurance
(2) retirement plan benefits
(3) payable on death accounts
c. Revocable Trust - offers greatest control. A Revocable Trust, like a Will, is a document that is drafted to express your wishes (the "Grantor") regarding the management and distribution of your assets by the Trustee (you or you and your spouse). Once the Trust is created, assets are re-titled or transferred to the Trust such that the Trust, not you, owns the assets. The law recognizes the Trust as a fictional legal person that does not die when you do. During your lifetime the assets remain in your exclusive control; at your death, the person you name as successor Trustee carries out your wishes as to the distribution of your assets (without Court supervision).
a. Marital Property Agreement
b. Health Care Power of Attorney - this is an important document that designates an agent to make health care decisions in the event of a person's incapacity.
c. Durable Power of Attorney this is an important document that designates an agent to make financial decisions in the event of a person's incapacity.
Changing your will
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You might need to update your will throughout your life. We draft valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.
Appointment of guardianship
If you have minor children, your will enables you to make decisions about their future care. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or in the event that both parents were to die in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian for your children, and the guardian can make decisions that are adverse to your ultimate parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets' care in your will, including naming a guardian to take responsibility for your pets.