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Estate Planning Archives

Choosing other beneficiaries besides a spouse

When people in Wisconsin create an estate plan, it is important to make provisions in case their beneficiaries cannot inherit or pass on property. One common example is if spouses own their home in joint tenancy with survivorship. This seems like a safe plan, but there can be problems if one becomes incapacitated and then the other dies.

Estate planning and asset valuation in the digital age

The estate planning and management process has been complicated in recent years by the increased importance of online identities and digital lives. Individuals in Wisconsin may want to keep certain factors in mind when developing an estate plan to cover not only real and personal property but digital property as well.

Common errors with beneficiary designations

When Wisconsin residents are creating an estate plan, they might think about wills and trusts and forget about beneficiary designations. These are documents that people sign to name a beneficiary for assets such as a retirement account. Sometimes, they are neglected after life changes.

Estate planning is for everyone

Many people living in Wisconsin understand the importance of having a will. They know that a will can protect their assets and prevent their loved ones from having to go through a lengthy court process. However, there is more to estate planning than writing a will, and even those who have modest assets can benefit from certain legal strategies.

Avoiding pressure over power of attorney

Wisconsin residents who are planning their estate often overlook a power of attorney. Such a document can be useful because it appoints someone to manage the principal's financial affairs in the event of incapacity. However, it is important that people do not feel pressured to name a particular person as the agent in this power of attorney or to grant certain powers to that agent.

Tips for executors

Wisconsin residents who are creating an estate plan may wonder what the duties of an executor are. The first thing an executor must do is get copies of the death certificate from the funeral home. It is best to get a number of these as they will be required when informing agencies and institutions about a person's death including the Social Security Administration, life insurers and banks.

Good reasons to give gifts prior to death

Wisconsin residents may have many reasons to give planned gifts prior to passing away. This may be beneficial for those who are looking to minimize their tax burden and the one that their heirs may face. For instance, it may be a good idea to create a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust as they may provide individuals with tax relief right away.

Changes to make to your estate plan if you are recently divorced

Getting through a divorce is no small feat. It is often referred to as one of the most painful and stressful life events a person can experience. If you are recently divorced, you are probably all too ready to move forward and away from the legal system.

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