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.
An estate plan doesn’t only concern property. This document can also designate guardians for children under 18 in case their parents pass away or are incapacitated. It can also include key documents, like an advance medical directive. A health care power of attorney can spell out instructions for a person’s medical treatment in case he or she becomes incapacitated, including addressing whether he or she wants to be placed on life support or donate his or her organs after passing away.
When people are considering how to plan for the futures of their families, an estate plan can provide some key reassurance. An estate planning attorney can work with a person to develop these critical documents as well as draft a comprehensive plan that allows for the most effective and economical transfer of one’s assets to his or her beneficiaries.