Share

Madison Wisconsin's Estate Planning Blog

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Estate Planning - Why Me, Why Now, and Is a Will Enough?


You have worked hard for years, have family members and friends you care about, and have approached a time in your life when “estate planning” sounds like something you should do, but you are not exactly sure why. You may feel that you are not wealthy enough or not old enough to bother or care. Or you may already have a Will and feel that you are all set on that front. Whatever your current position, consider these common misconceptions about estate planning:

 

1.     Estate planning is for wealthy(ier) people.
Read more . . .


Saturday, September 23, 2017

What do I After the Death of a Spouse?


When a spouse passes away, thinking about “the estate” might be the last thing on your mind. And while it’s necessary to give yourself ample time to process the loss of your partner, it’s also imperative you talk with your estate planning attorney sooner rather than later — or you might be facing some pretty unpleasant consequences.

 

There are many immediate tasks at hand after the loss of a spouse such as notifying their friends, family, and colleagues, making funeral arrangements, and managing all the accompanying grief that arises.

 

It’s dangerous to take estate-related matters into your own hands

This is often too difficult a time to pay attention to the paperwork and legal details that need to be attended to. Surviving spouses may have the urge to settle outstanding issues themselves, but small mistakes made during these exhausting times can come back to cause serious problems down the road.
Read more . . .


Friday, September 22, 2017

If I Don't Have an Estate, Do I Really Need to Consider Estate Planning?


You don’t need to have a summer house in the Hamptons or a private art collection big enough to rival MOMA to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the eyes of the law. Although the term may conjure images of expansive country properties, expensive cars, or other symbols of high wealth, for the purposes of estate planning law, the term “estate” covers a whole lot more.

 

What constitutes as an estate

Ordinary possessions like homes, jewelry collections, bank accounts, cars, furniture — basically anything you can own — are also under the purview of your estate, meaning estate planning is something that profoundly impacts virtually everyone, not just the “country club” crowd. 

 

So even if you wouldn’t ordinarily consider yourself the owner of an estate, it’s quite likely that you are.
Read more . . .


Friday, September 22, 2017

Tips For Working With a Law Firm


When you hire an attorney for estate planning, help with a loved one’s estate, or any other legal matter you want to make sure that the work gets done as quickly as possible and at the best possible value.  Here are some tips to have the most useful and value-oriented law firm experience.

·       Get to know the lawyer and the law firm staff. You’ll be working with the entire team, so it’s a good idea to know who to reach out to at the office. Paralegals and office assistants are employed by the lawyer to help you.
Read more . . .


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Isn't There Already a Law That Leaves Everything To My Wife and Kids?


Many people think that if they die while they are married, everything they own automatically goes to their spouse or children. They’re actually thinking of state rules that apply if someone dies without leaving a will. In legal jargon, this is referred to as “intestate.” In that case, the specifics will vary depending on each state's law, so where you live when you die can significantly change the outcome for your family. However, the general rule is that your spouse will receive a share, and the rest will be divided among your children.
Read more . . .


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Kids Going Away to College? Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparation.


You may have been running around for weeks, getting your new college student off to school. It's exhilarating, and your heart likely is bursting at the seams. You're probably prouder than you can say, but you're a little afraid, too. How can you make sure your kid is going to be safe at school, so far away from home? A new Bed Bath and Beyond matching sheet set for the dorm sounds great, but it just doesn't seem like quite enough, does it? So what else can you do?

 

Actually, there is something, probably not yet on your to-do list, that absolutely can make all the difference. Bring your child to a local estate planning attorney.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Perils of Joint Property


People often set up bank accounts or real estate so that they own it jointly with a spouse or other family member. The appeal of joint tenancy is that when one owner dies, the other will automatically inherit the property without it having to go through probate. Joint property is all perceived to be easy to setup since it can be done at the bank when opening an account or title company when buying real estate.

That's all well and good, but joint ownership can also cause unintended consequences and complications. And it's worth considering some of these, before deciding that joint ownership is the best way to pass on assets to your heirs.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Do You Really Need a Will? You May Not Think You Need a Will But You Really Do.


Most Americans do not have a simple will as part of their estate plan. You might believe that a will is only for the rich and famous, and not the average person who has a far smaller net worth. On the other hand, you may think that a will is entirely unnecessary since you have a trust, jointly owned property, or have named beneficiaries on your insurance. 

So, do you really need a will? The short answer to this question is “yes.” In fact, everyone who owns anything - no matter how little value it may seem to have - should have a will.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Estate Planning for the Newly Married


Now is the perfect time to start working on an estate plan—because, as newlyweds, you may not have a list of your accounts, but you've effectively just done a working inventory of your possessions—as you've figured out how to consolidate two households into one. You've already been working on the new banking and shared responsibility of bills and taxes and so forth.

 

Use that all time and energy and work as a leapfrog into planning for your future—so you'll be that much more prepared for the house, the kids, and the next stages of your new life together.

 

Why Think About Estate Planning At This Point?

Even if you have few assets, as we just talked about, you have more than you think. Still, putting together a will or a trust probably is very straightforward at this point, since you just did that accounting of your collective assets.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 18, 2017

Do I Really Need a Trust?


Although many people equate “estate planning” with having a will, there are many advantages to having a trust rather than a will as the centerpiece of your estate plan. While there are other estate planning tools (such as joint tenancy, transfer on death, beneficiary designations, to name a few), only a trust provides comprehensive management of your property in the event you can’t make financial decisions for yourself (commonly called legal incapacity) or after your death. 

One of the primary advantages of having a trust is that it provides the ability to bypass the publicity, time, and expense of probate. Probate is the legal process by which a court decides the rightful heirs and distribution of assets of a deceased through the administration of the estate. This process can easily cost thousands of dollars and take several months to more than a year to resolve.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 18, 2017

How a Living Trust Helps Families


There are several parts to an estate plan, one of them being a living trust. Common factors that prompt someone to create a trust include privacy, tax benefits, avoiding probate, and caring for family members with special needs. Estate planning also lets you dictate how your assets will pass on to future generations after your death.

 

Avoiding Probate

One of the primary reasons for creating an estate plan is to avoid probate. Unlike a will, a fully funded living trust will avoid probate, typically a lengthy and costly court-supervised process.
Read more . . .


Blog Categories

AB Trust

ABLE Program

Abuse

Addiction

Agent

Aging

Amendment of Trust

Annual exclusion

Asset Protection

Attorney

Basis

Beneficiary

Beneficiary Designations

Birth

Business Succession

Buy-Sell Agreement

capacity

Caregiver

Celebrity

Charitable Planning

Children

Cognitive Impairment

Community Property

Compensation

Corporate Trustee

Court

Creditors

Death

Debts

Decanting

Deed

Digital Estate Planning

Discretionary Trusts

Disinherit

Divorce

Documents

Driving

duress

Dynasty Trust

Education

Elder Law

Estate Planning

Executor

Family

Farming and Ranching

Fees

Fiduciary

fraud

Funeral

Generational Planning

Gifting

Government Assistance

Grandchildren

GSST

Guardian

Guardianship

Health Care

Health Care Agent/Proxy

Heirs

HIPAA

Holographic Will

House

Incapacity

Income Tax

Inheritance

Instruction

Insurance

Internet

Inter-vivos Trusts

Intestacy

IRA

Irrevocable Trusts

Joint Tenancy

Law Firm

Lawsuits

Liability

Life Estate

Life Events

Lifetime QTIP

Living Trust

Living Will

Long-Term Care

Marital Property

Marraige

Medicaid Planning

Mental Illness

Money

Moving to/from a State

Newlyweds

Nursing Home

Overseas Estate Planning

Parents

Partners

Payable on Death (POD)

Payable on Death (POD)

Payable on Death (POD)

Personal Representative

Pets

Physicians

Planning

Portibility

Power of Appointment

Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

Prenuptual Agreements

Privacy

Probate

Promises

Property

Remarraige

Restatement of Trust

Retirement Assets

Review

Revocable Trusts

Saving Money

Simultaneous Death

Special Needs Trusts

Spouse

Stand Alone Retirement Trust (SRT)

Storage of Documents

Storing Documents

Stress

Successor Trustee

Taxes

Testamentary Trusts

Timeshare

Title

Transfer of Assets

Transfer on Death (TOD)

Trust Administration

Trust Funding

Trust Protector

Trustee

Trusts

Umbrella Insurance

Unborn Children

Update Planning

Values

Will

Will Contests

Year End Strategies

Young Families

Archived Posts

2017
September
August
July
May
April
Updating Your Revocable Trust: How Many “Tweaks” Are Too Many?
U.S. Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs are Not Protected from Creditors
4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest
Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians Anyone Can Use
Three Estate Planning Mistakes Farmers and Ranchers Make and How to Avoid Them
The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishes
The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits
The Tragic Loss of Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin: Lessons for Estate and Legacy Planning
The Three-Year Review and The Three-Year Plan
The Shocking Truth About Asset Protection Planning
The Pros and Cons of Probate
The Perils of Promises...Marlon Brando’s Story
The Lifetime QTIP Trust: Or (How to Maintain Control of Your Estate and Keep Spouse No. 2 Happy)
The Lifetime QTIP Trust: Or (How to Maintain Control of Your Estate and Keep Spouse No. 2 Happy)
The IRS Took Half of Tony Soprano’s Estate: Don’t Fall into the Same Trap!
The Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity Planning
Surprise! You Can’t Easily Disinherit Your Spouse in the U.S.
Stress Test Your Estate Plan
Sonny Bono’s Procrastination in Creating a Will Led to Years of Estate Battles
Skyrocketing Probate Fees – Another Reason to Avoid Probate Court
Revocable Trust vs. Irrevocable Trust: Which Is Best for You?
Prince’s Sad and Incredibly Expensive Mistake! (Are You Making It, Too?)
3 Powers to Consider Giving to a Trust Protector
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will: 3 Critical Mistakes
Parental Warning: If You Own Your Property this Way, You May Accidentally Disinherit Your Own Children
Over 70% of Elvis Presley’s Estate Paid in Taxes & Fees: How Can You Avoid the Same Trap?
Nosey Neighbor Nellie Can Find Out About Your Probate. Really.
Michael Jackson’s Estate Pulled into Seemingly Endless Probate Court Battles
Lifetime QTIP Trusts – The Gift That Keeps Giving
Is Your Estate Plan as Stale as Last Week’s Ham Sandwich? 5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan
March
Is a Revocable Living Trust Right for You?
Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?
Irrevocable Trust Decanting in 4 Steps
IRS Announcement: Estate Tax Closing Letters Will Now Only Be Issued Upon Request
Investment, Insurance, Annuity, and Retirement Planning Considerations
If You Die Without a Will, Does Your Spouse Inherit Your Entire Estate?
How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney
How to Minimize the (Voluntary) Federal Estate Tax with Portability
How to Minimize Legal Fees After Death
HELP! This Probate Is Taking Forever!!!
Four Steps to Stop Mail Addressed to a Deceased Person
Five Things You Need to Know About the Recently ABLE Act
Flo Jo’s Tragic Mistake: A Missing Will
5 Reasons Why Uncle Bill May Not Make a Good Trustee
Financial Firms Roll Out Form Aimed at Stopping Financial Elder Abuse
5 Reasons to Embrace Estate Planning
Estate Planning: 3 Reasons We Run the Other Way
Estate Planning Basics for Newlyweds – How to Get Prepared for the Unexpected
Escape From a Bad Trust: 5 Strong Reasons to Decant Your Trust
Doris Duke’s Trustee Bilked Estate for $1M: How Well Do You Know Yours?
Don’t Leave Your Trust Unguarded: 6 Key Ways a Trust Protector Can Help You
Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?
Who’s Going to Get It: Do You Really Know the Beneficiaries of Your Dynasty Trust?
Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths
Discretionary Trusts – How to Protect Your Beneficiaries From Bad Decisions and Outside Influences
Did you include your grandkids in your will? 5 Tips to Avoid Common Problems
Did Whitney Houston Leave Too Much Money To Bobbi Kristina?
Dennis Hopper Saves Heirs with Last Minute Estate Plan Changes
Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age
Avoiding Guardianship When you are Incapacitated
Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age
Who Should I Choose as a Successor Trustee
Celebrities Who Failed To Recognize Unborn Children in Their Wills: A Teachable Lesson
February
Caution: Your Traditional Asset Protection Plan is Set Up to Fail
How to Choose a Trustee
Name a Guardian for Your Child
Caution: Creditors Now Have Easy Access to Inherited IRAs
Big Bang Theory Star’s “Ironclad” Prenup Challenged: How Does Yours Compare?
Will Your Family Be Able to Find Your Original Last Will?
Ways to Avoid Court Proceedings
Are Handwritten Intentions Enforceable? Princess Diana Thought So…
An Estate Planning Checklist to Facilitate Wealth Transfer
Aging.gov: A New Resource for Older Americans and Their Families
AB Trusts – Do You Need to Get Rid of Yours?
A Powerful Exercise to Surface the Values You Want to Pass on to the Next Generation
10 Types of Trusts: A Quick Look
5 Tragic Mistakes People Make When Leaving Assets to Their Pets
5 Things Every New Mother Needs to Know About Wills
New Legislation Could Mean the End of Estate and GSTT Taxes What This Means for You and Your Family
5 Reasons to Protect Your Retirement Accounts Now
5 Mistakes Made by Successor Trustees (and How to Prevent Them)
5 Good Reasons to Decant a Trust
3 Ways to Minimize Estate Planning Fees
3 Tips for Overwhelmed Executors
3 Simple Ways to Avoid Probate Costs
3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
AB Trusts – Do You Need to Get Rid of Yours?
How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney
Better to Play it Safe: Proactive Estate Planning and Cognitive Impairment
Will Your Revocable Living Trust Avoid Probate? It Depends.
Why Your Estate Planning Project Must Morph into a Process
Estate Planning Tips for Commitment Without Marraige
3 Celebrity Probate Disasters and Tragic Lessons
3 Examples of When an Irrevocable Trust Can – and Should – Be Modified
January
2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2014
2013


Nennig Law Offices, LLC assists clients in Madison, WI and throughout Southern Wisconsin including Verona, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Cross Plains,Sauk City, Belleville, Waunakee, Mount Horeb, Oregon, Black Earth, DeForest,Monona, McFarland, Stoughton, Cambridge, Deerfield and Fitchburg.



© 2017 Nennig Law Offices, LLC | Disclaimer
6418 Normandy Lane, Suite 225, Madison, WI 53719
| Phone: 608-661-4333

Planning | | Who We Are

Attorney Website Design By
Zola Creative