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Family Planning

Friday, July 7, 2017

Q & A with Attorney John Haslam: Special Needs Planning


What is special needs planning? 

People planning for beneficiaries with a special needs must address the following concerns:

  • How will financial benefits be used for their benefit?

  • Who will control and manage financial assets?

  • How can an estate plan be arranged so that the beneficiary with special needs can benefit from inherited assets for the rest of their life?

  • If the beneficiary is receiving government benefits, how can money be left to them without jeopardizing those benefits?

  • Money may very easily be exhausted in an ill-advised and rapid fashion.

  • Will there be circumstances when the beneficiary can assume control over inherited assets?


Read more . . .


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

3 Reasons Why Every Young Family Needs an Estate Plan

No one expects to die early in life, but unfortunately accidents and other unforeseen circumstances are not uncommon. It’s critical to have a plan in place that will take care of you and your loved ones if you pass away or become disabled.

Read more . . .


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Children With a Trust

Many parents believe that their “responsible” children do not need the protection of a trust. After all, if your child is good with money, why do they need their inheritance placed in a trust?

A trust can provide five main protections that won’t be present if you give assets to your children outright: (1) creditor protection, (2) predator protection, (3) divorce protection, (4) self-protection, and (5) estate tax protection. We will address each of these protections in turn.


Read more . . .


Friday, July 29, 2016

How to Calculate Your Estate Tax

 

In order to predict how much your estate will have to pay in taxes, one must first determine the value of the estate. To determine this, many assets might have to be appraised at fair market value. The estate includes all assets including real estate, cash, securities, stocks, bonds, business interests, loans receivable, furnishings, jewelry, and other valuables.

Once your net worth is established, you can subtract liabilities like mortgages, credit cards, other legitimate debts, funeral expenses, medical bills, and the administrative cost to settle your estate including attorney, accounting and appraisal fees, storage and shipping fees, insurances, and court fees. The administrative expenses will likely total roughly 5% of the total estate.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Only Constant in Life is Change


When Circumstances Change, So Should Your Estate Plan

Your estate plan was written to reflect your situation at a specific point in time –  and – as we all know – our lives continually change, unfolding in ways we might not have anticipated. Just like you meet with your doctor, financial advisor, or CPA on a regular basis, you need to meet with us on a regular basis as well.

In this issue, we:

  • Identify and provide examples of life changes which typically trigger a need to update your plan  
  • Examine how often you should “check in” with our office

The goal?  To make sure that your estate plan achieves your goals and works for your family.

 

Update Your Estate Plan if Any of These 6 Circumstances Apply to You

  1. Marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse
  2. Changes in financial status – good or bad
  3. The launch or wind down of a business
  4. Birth, adoption, or death of a child or grandchild
  5. Change in personal or family circumstances – including the need to replace trustees, address disabilities or addictions, moving to a new state, and more
  6. Change in your goals – such as changing amounts of inheritances, adding or removing a charity, and more

It’s not just changes in your life you need to think about - Congress, the courts, and the legislatures are constantly changing the rulebook. If you haven’t had your will, trust, or estate plan reviewed since 2012 or if any of these 6 circumstances apply to you, it is essential to contact us, so we can get you back on track.


Read more . . .


Friday, November 28, 2014

How to Make a Family Meeting a Successful Part of the Estate Planning Process

You have made the hard decisions, your documents are signed, your trust is funded, a business succession plan is in place. Congratulations, you have finished your estate planning. But have you, really? Have you explained your planning to your family? Will they understand how your plan will work and what they may need to do if you become ill or when you die? Will they wonder why you made certain decisions?


Read more . . .


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why Does a Living Trust Cost More than a Will?

It will probably cost more initially to set up a well-drafted living trust than to have a will prepared. A true cost comparison should include not only the expense to establish the will or trust, but also what it will cost should you become incapacitated and after you die.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paying for Your Grandchildren's Education

The bond between a grandparent and grandchild is a very special one based on respect, trust and unconditional love. When preparing one’s estate plan, it’s not at all uncommon to find grandparents who want to leave much or all of their estate to their grandchildren. With college tuition costs on the rise, many seniors are looking to ways to help their grandchildren with these costs long before they pass away. Fortunately, there are ways to “gift” an education with minimal consequences for your estate and your loved ones.


Read more . . .


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Providing for Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

If you are part of the baby boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964), you may also find that you are a member of the sandwich generation, with responsibilities to both your parents (now or in the future) and your children. This should change the way you think about estate planning—instead of the traditional approach of how to leave assets to your children and future generations, you may also need to include providing for the previous generation (your parents).
Read more . . .


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Incorporating Faith and Values in Estate Planning

For many, passing along religious beliefs or values to the next generation is just as important as passing along financial wealth and tangible assets. Estate planning creates many opportunities to do this, including:

* End-of-Life Care. A health care power of attorney (Advance Directive in some states) lets you name someone to make medical decisions for you in the event you cannot make them yourself. This can be someone who shares your faith and values about end-of-life issues or someone who will honor your wishes. In either case, it is a good idea to provide written instructions about things like organ donation, pain medication (some may want to remain conscious at the end of life), hospice arrangements, even avoiding care in a specific facility. A visit by a priest, rabbi or other member of clergy may be desired. Pregnant women may want to include their preference on medical decisions that would impact the mother and her unborn child.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Treating Children Fairly Does Not Necessarily Mean Equally

Most parents want to treat their children fairly in their estate planning, and many assume that means having their children inherit equally. But fair does not necessarily mean equal. There may be special circumstances to consider.


Read more . . .


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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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| Phone: 608-833-4001
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