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Estate Planning Archives

How to change an estate plan during a divorce

Wisconsin residents who are going through a divorce may also want to think about how a separation could impact their estate plans. For example, one may have a health care proxy that appoints a spouse to make medical decisions in case of incapacity. This could be a bad idea after a divorce, especially when animosity exists between ex-spouses.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why a trust may be the right choice for adult children

One error that Wisconsin parents might make in creating an estate plan is passing on assets directly to adult children who might be irresponsible with them. While it is not uncommon for parents to place assets in a trust for the benefit of minor children, they might not think to do so for adult children.

Inheritances and child support judgments

Wisconsin residents who are creating estate plans should make sure that their beneficiaries do not have issues with creditors. Otherwise, those creditors could seize their inheritances. In one case, a woman left her house to her three sons. However, one of them had a child support judgment that prevented him from being able to take possession.

Things to consider when creating an estate plan

Some Wisconsin residents who are creating an estate plan might think of it as primarily a way to pass assets on to loved ones. However, such plans have a number of other purposes. Having one is important for all adults and not just for wealthy people. An estate plan can arrange for end-of-life care, choose a guardian in case a person becomes incapacitated or specify funeral arrangements. These types of specific instructions may help relieve some of the stress on loved ones.

How a trust may be useful in an estate plan

Some Pennsylvania residents who are creating an estate plan might want to consider using a revocable living trust. Trusts can have a number of uses and are not just for wealthy people. For example, a trust could have a successor trustee appointed to take care of assets if the settlor becomes incapacitated. It could also be used to care for a disabled loved one.

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