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Madison Wisconsin Estate Planning Blog

Friday, March 29, 2013

Preparing Your Family for an Emergency during School Hours

Every family should establish a clear plan to handle an emergency that occurs during school hours. Unfortunately, many parents mistakenly believe that filling out the school’s emergency card is sufficient. Sadly, this practice falls far short of what is truly necessary to protect your children in the event something tragic happens to you during the school day.


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Friday, March 22, 2013

Should I Transfer My Home to My Children?

Most people are aware that probate should be avoided if at all possible. It is an expensive, time-consuming process that exposes your family’s private matters to public scrutiny via the judicial system. It sounds simple enough to just gift your property to your children while you are still alive, so it is not subject to probate upon your death, or to preserve the asset in the event of significant end-of-life medical expenses.


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Friday, March 15, 2013

Preventing a Will Contest & Preserving Peace in the Family

The purpose of writing a Last Will and Testament is to make sure that you – and not an anonymous probate court judge – have control over the distribution of your property after your death.  If one or more family members disputes the instructions in your will, however, then it is possible  that a probate court judge may decide how your assets will be distributed.


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Friday, March 8, 2013

When Should You Begin Taking Social Security?

Many clients want to know whether they should start drawing Social Security at age 62 or should they wait until full retirement age or even longer. Since the amount of monthly benefit will be reduced by 25% at age 62, compared to full retirement age, you cannot take this decision lightly.


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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Divestment or No Divestment?

Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance or Title 19, is a government program that subsidizes the long-term care expenses of needy individuals who meet specific asset and income requirements.  In short, individuals are expected to exhaust their own assets to pay for their long-term care expenses before government resources will be made available. 


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Friday, March 1, 2013

How Do I Manage My Property If I Am Incapacitated?

The most common method of managing property during incapacity is using the Power of Attorney. In a Power of Attorney you, “the principal,” name a chosen “Agent” to exercise legal authority on your behalf as if you were performing the task yourself. Powers of Attorney can be very broad, authorizing any act that you could have done yourself, or they can be very limited and authorize only certain acts.


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Friday, February 22, 2013

Should I Have a Health Care Power of Attorney?

Each state has laws that authorizes its residents to create a special Power of Attorney in which you designate an Agent to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. The Power of Attorney for Health Care (POA-HC) can also be used to provide instructions to your Agent concerning the type of care you do or do not want. This is an extremely important privilege, and every adult (age 18 or older) should have a POA-HC. Even adult children who live at home or who are attending college should have a POA-HC.


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Friday, February 22, 2013

You've Finally Done Your Healthcare Directives--Now What?

Healthcare directives can be vitally important, as recent cases, like that of Terry Schiavo, clearly brought to light. These important documents can mean the difference between your health care wishes being carried out or family members fighting over whether a loved one should be placed in a nursing home or removed from life support. Healthcare directives usually include both a healthcare power of attorney and a living will, or a form which is a combination of the two. In a healthcare power of attorney, an individual authorizes another individual to make healthcare decisions for him or her if the individual becomes unable to do so. A living will expresses an individual’s preferences about life support.


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Friday, February 15, 2013

Advance Planning Can Help Relieve the Worries of Alzheimer's Disease

The “ostrich syndrome” is part of human nature; it’s unpleasant to observe that which frightens us.  However, pulling our heads from the sand and making preparations for frightening possibilities can provide significant emotional and psychological relief from fear.


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Issues to Consider When Gifting to Grandchildren

Many grandparents who are financially stable love the idea of making gifts to their grandchildren. However, they are usually not aware of the myriad of issues that surround what they may consider to be a simple gift. If you are considering making a significant gift to a grandchild, you should consult with a qualified attorney to guide you through the myriad of legal and tax issues that are involved in making such gifts.


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Friday, February 1, 2013

It's Not Just the Law...It's How the Law Affects You

One of the most common questions I, as an estate planning attorney, am asked is whether a will or a trust should be used to plan an estate. Wills are the most well known and have traditionally been used to transfer assets at time of death, but over the past 20 years there has been a significant movement toward utilizing revocable living trusts. 


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With Offices in Madison, WI and Evansville, WI, the attorneys at the Wilson Law Group assist clients with Estate & Business Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Elder Law and Medicaid Planning throughout Southern Wisconsin including Verona, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Cross Plains, Oregon, Black Earth, Janesville, Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Baraboo, Reedsburg, Richland Center, Mount Horeb, Monroe, Beaver Dam, Dane County, Rock County, Green County, Iowa County, Richland County, Sauk County, Columbia County, Dodge County and Jefferson County.

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