As the Internet becomes more of a part of everyday life for people in Wisconsin and the rest of the world, families have to think differently about how they plan for the future. Everything from online bank accounts to social media profiles make have significant value, and making sure these assets are passed down to the right people presents a lot of challenges.
Blended families in Wisconsin often have a number of complicated decisions to make over the years. In some cases, these complications arise when people come together with small children from previous relationships. In other cases, the issues can manifest when people with adult children who are already outside the home marry later in life, leading to a far more distant version of a blended family. One of the areas where issues can come up is estate planning, where it can be important for both parents to separate the interests of their children from the interests of their spouse.
In Wisconsin and across the United States, many people handle their estate planning via less expensive online legal services. Although drafting a will via a do-it-yourself website sounds like a good idea, this method can cause unexpected errors. For instance, the plan may contain typos or incorrect labels on the packages. Plus, some online estate plans may not include all of the essential documents. Even though online estate planning websites employ lawyers for legal advice, consumers cannot have personal consultations without paying exorbitant fees.
A Wisconsin resident who wishes to undergo the process of being cryogenically frozen at death might also be concerned about having access to funds on revival. A revival or future income trust can be created to allow this.
People in Wisconsin who have gotten ahead of the game and established trusts as part of their estate plans may sometimes have cause to regret it. Those who create an irrevocable dynasty trust, for example, when their children are young might later feel that they should have drafted the terms of the trust differently. The estate planning environment decades ago did not anticipate the specific social and economic changes that could operate to make trust terms counterproductive.
Adequate estate planning is something that all Wisconsin individuals should have in mind, particularly those who have acquired significant wealth in their lifetimes. Scandalous estate litigation cases commonly reported by tabloid publications invariably involve celebrities from the world of entertainment and professional sports, but art collectors can be easily added to this list even though gossip magazines do not usually focus on them.
When Wisconsin estate owners think about planning for the future, they may want to take advantage of the additional flexibility and control provided by trusts. Some may wonder if it's possible to create more than one trust to handle different parts of an estate. By creating a new trust, one won't revoke a previous trust unless the document explicitly seeks to address the original document. This is one aspect that differentiates trusts from wills.
Many people in Wisconsin are aware of the importance of estate planning. However, they tend to stop after creating a will. While a will is often a good start to a comprehensive estate plan, it is often not enough to address the personal, financial and family considerations that come up at the end of a person's life.
Powers of attorney are an important part of many estate plans in Wisconsin. They can be designed to fit the needs of the client, but there are situations in which the person who executed the document will want to terminate it. Generally speaking, there are three ways a power of attorney terminates. The first is that it will terminate on the date specified in the document. Durable powers of attorney are often designed to last indefinitely, though, and many powers of attorney do not include termination dates.
Wisconsin fans of comic book artist Stan Lee might be aware that there have been some issues surrounding his estate over the years. Earlier this year, he said that someone had stolen $1.4 million from his accounts. He also had a document notarized accusing his daughter of being emotionally abusive and trying to take advantage of him that he then took back. Furthermore, Lee had worked with a number of agents and managers over the years, and there may be multiple documents making different claims that will need to be sorted out.