Are you looking for a lawyer near you to help with your estate planning needs in Wisconsin? Heritage Law Office is here to help. Our experienced attorneys can assist you in creating a will or trust, designating beneficiaries, and providing other important estate planning services.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of arranging for the management and distribution of your assets after your death. It involves creating legal documents such as a will or trust to ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are provided for. Estate planning can also include designating beneficiaries, creating powers of attorney, and providing for long-term care.
Understanding Wills and Trusts
A will is a legal document that outlines how your assets will be distributed after your death. It allows you to specify who will receive your property, name an executor to manage your estate, and appoint guardians for minor children. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to Wisconsin's intestacy laws.
A trust, on the other hand, is a legal arrangement in which one party (the trustee) holds and manages assets for the benefit of another (the beneficiary). Trusts can provide tax benefits and avoid probate, making them a popular choice for estate planning.
The Benefits of Estate Planning
Estate planning offers several benefits, including:
- Providing for your loved ones: Estate planning allows you to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your loved ones are provided for after your death.
- Avoiding probate: A well-crafted estate plan can help your assets avoid probate, saving time and money for your loved ones.
- Minimizing taxes: Proper estate planning can help reduce the tax burden on your estate, allowing more of your assets to pass to your beneficiaries.
- Providing for long-term care: Estate planning can include provisions for long-term care, ensuring that you receive the care you need in your later years.
Contact a Lawyer Near You for Wills in Wisconsin
Creating an estate plan can seem overwhelming, but our experienced attorneys are here to help. We will thoroughly review your needs and wants when planning your estate and provide an outline of your best options, including the creation of an irrevocable trust. We will also help you designate beneficiaries, create powers of attorney, and provide for long-term care.
Contact us either online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation today. Our experienced attorneys will help you create an estate plan that meets your unique needs.
Cities We Serve in Wisconsin
- Green Bay
- Eau Claire
- Elm Grove
- Fox Point
- Whitefish Bay
- And more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Do I need a lawyer to create a will in Wisconsin?
While it's not mandatory to have a lawyer to create a will in Wisconsin, it's generally recommended to consult with one, especially if your estate is large or your will is complex. Legal advice can ensure that your will is valid and accurately reflects your wishes.
2. What are the requirements for a will to be valid in Wisconsin?
Under Wisconsin law, a valid will must be in writing and signed by the testator (the person making the will) and two witnesses. The testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. It's important to know that witnesses should not be beneficiaries in the will, as this could lead to conflicts of interest or potential legal disputes.
3. Can I disinherit a family member in my will in Wisconsin?
Yes, you can generally disinherit a family member in your will in Wisconsin. However, there are exceptions. For instance, Wisconsin law provides certain protections for surviving spouses and minor children. A surviving spouse has the right to claim a portion of the estate even if the will states otherwise.
4. How can I change or revoke my will in Wisconsin?
A will can be changed or revoked in Wisconsin by creating a new will that states it revokes the previous wills or by physically destroying the will with the intent to revoke it. Changes can also be made by creating a codicil, which is a document that amends the original will. It's advised to seek legal counsel to ensure changes or revocations are done correctly.
5. What happens if I die without a will in Wisconsin?
If you die without a will in Wisconsin, your estate will be distributed according to the state's intestacy laws. Typically, your spouse and children are the first in line to inherit your assets. If you don't have a spouse or children, your estate may go to your parents, siblings, or other relatives. If no relatives can be found, the state may ultimately receive your assets.