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Family discussions about money aid estate planning

Parents in Wisconsin might hesitate to discuss financial matters with their children. Estate planners, however, warn that this communication failure might undermine parents' desire to build a legacy and transfer wealth. Heirs might be poorly prepared to manage new assets. Ideally, benefactors should inform their heirs about their plans as early as possible. They could explain their reasoning and goals for preserving wealth for the next generation.

The communication process might start casually at family gatherings if questions about the estate arise. Older family members could impart their family values and goals for the family's money. At some point, a person working on an estate plan could schedule a formal meeting to discuss financial matters. Heirs could get a chance to play a role in decision making about charitable gifts or dividing assets to fund schooling, businesses or homes.

Establishing paternity with or without the parent's cooperation

There are a number of benefits to establishing paternity in Wisconsin. While the child benefits from the financial support the birth father provides, the father benefits from being able to have a legally-recognized relationship with the child. Paternity can be voluntarily or involuntarily established.

There are two main ways that the birth father can voluntarily determine paternity. If the birth father is present when the child is born, he can voluntarily sign a Declaration of Paternity or an Acknowledgement of Paternity. This document allows the birth father's name to be included on the child's birth certificate. If the birth father is not present at the birth, however, he can still voluntarily complete a document called an affidavit of paternity. The birth certificate can be altered to include the birth father's name. However, this affidavit must be completed before the child turns 18.

When can a seller cancel the sale of the house?

Buying a home can be a stressful experience. While it has its moments of excitement, including the handing over of the keys, you will likely go through a lot of frustrations to get to that point. Some of them you may expect, for example when the home inspection finds a list of issues to resolve. However, you may not expect the seller to back out at the last minute.

For a homeowner to go through the process of preparing the property and placing it for sale is no small feat. Therefore, it may seem unreasonable for someone who offers you the property to suddenly decide not to sell. In fact, it may seem like a breach of contract to you, especially after you have put your own time and money into the purchase of the home. You may be wondering if you have legal grounds to pursue a claim against the seller.

Retiring business owners can plan for the future

As Wisconsin entrepreneurs turn their minds to retirement and succession planning, there could be some important considerations to keep in mind. There are over 12 million businesses in the country owned by members of the baby boom generation, now approaching or over the standard retirement age. Transitioning away from business leadership can take a number of forms depending on the vision that an entrepreneur has for the future of the company.

For many dedicated small business owners, retirement can be the furthest thing from their mind. Many do not want to think about retirement when they have played such a major role in shaping their company to fit their vision. However, succession planning can play an important role in assuring financial security in retirement and allowing family members to have a clear understanding about the future of their finances. Business owners can work with lawyers, accountants and other professionals to develop a clear plan for the future of their enterprise.

About joint legal custody

One of the issues Wisconsin parents have to address when they go their separate ways is the custody of their children. Joint legal custody is one of the options that may be available to them.

With joint legal custody, both parents have the legal right to make significant decisions regarding their children. This means that matters regarding healthcare, education and religion will be decided on by both parents. Legal custody is distinct from physical custody, and it is not guaranteed that joint physical custody will be granted if joint legal custody has been awarded. Situations in which the children live the majority of their time with one parent and have regularly scheduled visitation with the other is very common with shared legal custody.

Prince's heirs continue to wait for their inheritance

Wisconsin music fans may recall the death of musician Prince in 2016 and the news that he had died without a will. Now almost two years since his death, Prince's heirs still have not received their inheritance. However, the government has been paid millions in taxes by the estate and is asking for more.

Since Prince had no estate plan or even a will, it is taking a long time for his estate to go through the probate process. The fees the estate is being charged are rising. The musician's six siblings are his heirs. It took more than a year from the time of his death for a judge to decide that these six people, and only these six people, are the musician's legal heirs. But none of them has received any portion of their inheritance yet. Before that can happen, it must be determined how much the estate is worth.

How to account for digital assets in an estate plan

Estate planning is important for those who live in Wisconsin or anywhere else in the country. These days, it can also be a good idea to include digital assets in such a plan in addition to physical and more traditional assets, like a home or car. By including the passwords to social media accounts or other online properties, individuals can prevent their grieving families from having to find and gain access to them.

Individuals should be sure to take an inventory of any phones, computers or other mobile devices that require a password to access. Instructions should also be left as to how a flash drive or digital currency account can be accessed. Once those items have been inventoried, it is time to decide who will receive or oversee them. In some cases, adding an executor for digital assets can make it easier to distribute or manage them.

Sometimes grandparents step into the parenting role

Not all Wisconsin parents are able to take care of their children for a variety of reasons. Life doesn't always go as planned, and life's struggles can sometimes get the better of them. This can cause parents to exhibit a variety of behaviors toward their children that could harm them.

At this point, another relative, such as a grandparent, may step in to take over the care of the children. When it appears that this arrangement needs to become more permanent, a grandparent may need to figure out what legal options are available. If you are the grandparent in this scenario, knowing your rights and understanding what steps you may take could help.

Estate planning can provide peace of mind

For many people in Wisconsin, estate planning can be exceptionally important to ensure that their loved ones are cared for after they die. At the same time, the stresses and unpleasant thoughts that can be associated with creating an estate plan can deter many individuals from drafting the necessary documents. One 2016 study indicated that over 64 percent of people in the United States don't have a will, leaving a probate court to determine the future of their property whether or not it would correctly reflect their wishes.

Developing an estate plan does not need to be difficult, but it should be comprehensive. It is especially important for people with blended families and children from multiple marriages to ensure that all of their family members will be properly cared for. In order to create an estate plan, it can first be critical for a person to gather an inventory of all of the property he or she possesses, including life insurance policies, 401(k)s and retirement funds, investment accounts, real estate and inheritances.

Family conflict issue in estate planning, professionals say

There may be family conflict that interferes with a Wisconsin resident's estate plan. In a survey by TD Wealth, 44 percent of estate planning professionals said this was the biggest problem they encountered. Lagging far behind were issues such as tax reform at 25 percent and a volatile stock market at 12 percent.

Professionals named beneficiary designations and guardians as the documents that caused the most problems for clients. Wills and powers of attorney caused far fewer problems. However, the company's head of private trust says that with more blended families come children from previous marriages, younger spouses, and more family fights. A family business may also cause conflict. When some family members work for the business and some do not, there could be arguments about what constitutes fair treatment.

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