Our reliable attorneys at Kitzke & Canfield LLC are here to help clients throughout Wisconsin get their legal affairs in order so that they know their loved ones will be protected if they pass away or become incapacitated. If you have been meaning to draft a new estate plan or update an existing one, make sure you include the following four legal documents to ensure your wishes are respected.
#1: Revocable Living Trusts
One of the most important documents you need to include in your estate plan is the trust. This crucial document is used to avoid probate and provides creditor protection. Trusts also explain exactly how you want your assets to be distributed to your beneficiaries. With a trust, you make a fiduciary arrangement with another person called the “trustee.” This person holds the assets included the trust on behalf of a beneficiary you select. Assets in a revocable living trust aren’t subject to probate administration, so the beneficiaries will receive their inheritance following the specific instructions left by the creator of the trust
To learn about common misunderstandings people tend to have regarding wills and trusts, please read our previous blog.
#2: Durable Financial Power of Attorney
With a durable financial power of attorney, you can appoint someone you trust to serve as your “agent”. This person can legally make decisions and handle financial matters on your behalf if you are unavailable or incapacitated. Under a durable financial power of attorney, your agent can also sign contracts and file insurance claims and tax documents.
#4: Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney appoints a specific person to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to. This person can choose which hospital you are admitted to for treatment and can even file an application for public benefits on your behalf.
#5: Last Will & Testament
This legal document is used to support your overall estate plan. No matter your age or income, you need a last will and testament to keep the state from deciding how your property is divided.
If you would like our legal team to assess your situation and help you draft any of the legal documents we have discussed, then please reach out to our law firm today. Give us a call at (262) 387-0706 to schedule your consultation.