Most of the people take into account legacy planning. With regards to this, the very first thought which comes to your mind is the main estate planning tool – a will.
A Last Will and Testament is an important tool which most of you have in place. However, this tool isn’t enough. As a Probate Attorney in Wisconsin, I want to tell you that besides drafting a will, you must consider the other estate planning tools as well.
Let’s dive into the following important concerns:
It isn’t surprising that most of the people include the funeral arrangement instructions in their Last Will and Testament. This might seems like a natural thing to do. But it’s not. Actually, this is a big mistake because nobody can see such instruction before your passing. The fact is that many wills are not disclosed and read even after the funeral. At that point of time, such instructions are of no use.
If you want to avoid such a possibility, it’s essential that you must have a separate set of plans and instructions for your burial. In case you make prepaid payment for a funeral plot and service, take your time for document preparation which includes the detailed information. Also, if you haven’t made payment in advance for the funeral arrangements, still you can document your wants. Even you can tell somebody whom you trust a lot about where you have kept the document.
In most of the situations, you have to pass through probate. If you possess any real assets for the settlement, such a process will take months or even years. At the time of probate, any dependent beneficiaries will have restricted access to the assets which they actually need in order to support themselves. The allowances, which the law permits aren’t enough. This might result in additional hardship at a point of time when they are reel from the pain of losing you.
There are some estate planning practices that can help you to avoid probate, from the living trust to ownership of assets. For instance, you can utilize joint tenancy for assuring the automatic transfer of some kinds of property. You can involve heirs on bank accounts, insurance policies, brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts. The more work you will do at present for asset transfer, easier will be for your beneficiaries after your death as they will stay away from any hardship and life destruction later on.
In case you a child who is disabled and require some special care, then bequests can at times face complications. That’s true in the situations where a child depends on the government programs, like Medicaid or SSI. Money which you left behind for your child might lead to loss of some important benefits. A Special Needs Trust is of great help in such situations. This avoids that kind of problem as you will receive a supplemental income source which doesn’t interrupt with the benefit eligibility.
Creditor issues and spendthrift behavior might lead to an inheritance before a new owner gets benefitted from it. In case you have an irresponsible beneficiary, may be his or her decision making will place inheritance at risk. In such a situation, you can protect your assets by using a spendthrift trust.
When you consider how your wealth will get distributed when you become deceased, it’s important to consider what happens to your family when you become disabled to manage your own affairs. Power of Attorney is an important part of the estate planning effort as this allows the designated agents to act on your behalf when you lose the ability to do it on your own. Without that kind of planning, your family will look for guardianship attorney to assure that the medical and financial decisions are made.
In addition to the end life and legacy issues, there is one other big issue which you shouldn’t avoid – Long-term Care. Experts believe that most of you will spend at some point in your life in the long-term care facility. Now, think what do you have money to pay for the care which you actually need it.
You can depend upon Medicaid for covering such high costs. If you want to avail such benefits, you must meet the eligibility requirements associated with assets and income.
Preparing a will is important, but this doesn’t provide the complex estate planning which you need for special situations, secure your interest against the disability, plan for the long-term care or protect your assets. Being a Probate Attorney, I’ll always work with you and that too at every step. To learn more about us, how we can help you, visit the website or contact us to schedule a complimentary meeting.
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