Wisconsin Estate Planning
To create a legally binding last will and testament in Wisconsin, you must be at least 18 years old and "of sound mind." But a will isn't the only estate planning document you should have. An estate planning attorney can help assess your needs and then recommend the appropriate legal documents for you. Among the most commonly used estate planning tools:
- The last will and testament
- The living trust
- The financial power of attorney
- The medical power of attorney and the living will (collectively known as advance directives
Wills & Trusts
As you may know, the last will and testament serves several purposes after you pass away. It contains instructions about the distribution of your estate (assets and valuables, such as money, real estate and personal property) after your death. It also allows you to appoint an executor to carry out the instructions in your will, and a legal guardian to raise your minor children. Finally, your will can be used to create a trust to hold your children's inheritance and appoint a trustee to manage the trust on their behalf.
The last will isn't the only way to distribute your estate to your heirs after your death. A revocable living trust is a legal entity into which you can transfer ownership of some or all of your valuables while you are living. For the rest of your lifetime, you can be the beneficiary of this trust, meaning you can spend the money in the trust, live in a home owned by the trust and more. After your death, assets in the trust are distributed to your heirs according to instructions you've left. Because a trust operates outside of the probate system, your heirs can inherit money and property more quickly and more privately than if you used a last will and testament.
You can create a living trust instead of a last will and testament, or use a living trust in addition to a last will and testament. Your estate planning lawyer can explain the pros and cons of each choice.
Find & Hire Local Wisconsin Estate Planning Attorneys
Call Attorneys.com at 877-913-7222 or complete the form on this page if you need help locating estate planning lawyers across Wisconsin, including in Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee. Our free, no-obligation lawyer referral service can quickly connect you with estate planning attorneys and probate lawyers in your area.