In Shorewood, Wisconsin, estate planning is the process of determining what you want done with your property after your death (which is, of course, a very personal decision), and then setting up the legal and financial arrangements to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

The drafting of a will, which simply states what you wish to be done with your property after death, is usually one of the most important parts of an estate plan. Of course, it's rarely the only one. There are many other things you might want to include, depending on your objectives.

In addition to a well-drafted will, a comprehensive estate plan should include things like a living will (healthcare directives made in advance, in case you become incapacitated and unable to make or express such decisions), funeral instructions, and instructions relating to organ donations.

Most importantly, an estate plan should give instructions on the care of your minor children. It should lay out who is to take custody of them, and, if possible, leave them a large sum of money to assist with this care. Of course, you should discuss this matter with the people who you want to take custody of your children, to make sure they can actually take on such responsibility.

What Type of Estate Plan Do I Need in Shorewood, Wisconsin?

Obviously, the answer to this depends on many factors, as well as your goals and preferences. However, most people, when deciding what type of estate plan they need, consider their health, age, and wealth.

If you are in good health, young, and not married, planning an estate is probably not a high priority. And at this point in your life, it doesn't really have to be, with a few possible exceptions, such as individuals who work in very dangerous jobs, or who are very wealthy.

If you have a life partner in Shorewood, Wisconsin, but aren't married to him or her, estate planning is crucial. If you want your partner to have most of the same rights and responsibilities as a spouse, it's usually possible with good estate planning. You should grant your partner power of attorney, so they can make decisions for you in case you become incapacitated. Furthermore, you should name your partner as a beneficiary in your will, because, unlike a spouse, a life partner will not automatically inherit your property if you die without a will.

If you are elderly, and have a large amount of assets in Shorewood, Wisconsin, estate planning may be more important at this stage of your life than any other. While estate planning deals with some morbid and unpleasant subjects (requiring us to confront the reality of our own mortality), it is crucial if you wish to live your life secure in the knowledge that your loved ones will be provided for to the extent that your assets allow.

Do I Need a Shorewood, Wisconsin Estate Planning Attorney?

Because estate planning can be a complicated process, the expertise of a good lawyer in Shorewood, Wisconsin who specializes in wills, trusts, and estates can make the process a great deal easier.