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Wills, Trusts, and Joint Property

 

Our Estate Planning Lawyers Are Here To Help You

With approximately 75 years combined experience, the estate planning lawyers of Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd have been providing the comprehensive estate planning that you need and want to protect your heirs. Our firm is known for our personalized attention, insightful perspectives, and attention to detail.  We take the time and “go the extra mile” to thoroughly understand your intentions so your will, trusts, and joint property wishes are executed in a smooth and orderly manner.

 

Last Wills and Testaments in Wisconsin and Minnesota

 

A Will is the foundation for many estate plans. It is vital to ensure that your probate property and possessions are distributed to the people whom you care the most. Your will can reduce family conflicts, eliminate extra administration costs, reduce unnecessary taxes, protect your assets, and provide a long-lasting legacy for your family. Our attorneys assist you with:

 

  • Appointing a guardian of your minor children

  • Reducing estate taxes

  • Appointing the Personal Representative (executor or executrix) to administer your estate

  • Eliminating costly, time-consuming disputes over distribution of assets

  • Effectively distributing assets to individuals and organizations

 

Trusts in Wisconsin and Minnesota

 

A Trust is a legal arrangement establishing a person or bank as the trustee who holds property for the beneficiaries of the trust. Trusts have several purposes.  Often trusts are established to avoid the time and expense of probate on the death of the donor.  The donor continues to use and enjoy the property during his/her lifetime.  Some trusts are created for “credit shelter” tax advantages for the donor and/or the beneficiaries. Other trusts protect property and allow the donor to qualify for Medicaid. We will work closely with you to ascertain which, if any, trust will fit your needs and your family’s protection:

 

  • Revocable “Living” Trust—The donor maintains complete control over the trust to amend, revoke or terminate at any time

    • Asset management—Named trustee administers and invests the trust property for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.  Donor may be and often is, the trustee during his/her lifetime 

    • Probate avoidance—Upon death, the trust property passes to whoever is named in the trust without probate court jurisdiction

    • Tax planning—Assets may be retained in the grantor's taxable estate, not the estate of the beneficiary, which may avoid taxes upon the death of the beneficiary

  • Irrevocable Trust—The donor cannot change or amend the trust

    • Testamentary Trust—Created by a will or trust, testamentary trust has no power or effect until the donor dies, can be used to reduce estate taxes, can be used to protect assets or provide care for a minor or disabled child

    • Supplemental Needs Trust—Provisions for donor to provide continuing care of disabled spouse, child, relative, or friend, and maintain benefits for disabled heir

    • Credit Shelter Trust—May protect beneficiary from taxes and/or creditors

 

Wisconsin Joint Property (Marital Property Agreement)

 

Marital agreements outline ownership of property of a married couple.  Property may be classified as such that each individual owns a one-half undivided interest in the property, or individual such that only one spouse owns the property. Marital Property Agreements are often used to clarify property ownership and define rights related to transfers of property upon death.

 

The estate planning lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd ensure the completion of a comprehensive, carefully planned estate covering multiple contingencies, the reduction or elimination of estate taxes, and the continuing care and support of your spouse, family, and charitable organizations.  We cannot stress the importance of an estate plan strongly enough - and urge your action before it may be too late.