Understanding The Function Of Wills And Trusts

An estate plan is a great way to protect your legacy. Not only can a proper estate plan ease the burden on family members after your passing, but it can also ensure that your wishes are known and followed.
The attorney at The Law Office of Rollie R. Hanson, S.C., wants to help you protect your assets and legacy through the completion of a thorough estate plan. We will take the time to explain what each document can do and how to best utilize a plan.

Types Of Trusts

There are many different types of trusts to meet your special goals:

  • Spendthrift trusts provide additional protection against creditors and allow you to attach conditions as to how and when your assets are distributed to heirs.
  • Generation-skipping trusts enable you to leave money for grandchildren.
  • A real estate trust saves your beneficiaries a lot of probate expenses, especially if you own property outside Wisconsin.
  • Pet trusts allow you to set aside money for the care of a beloved animal.
  • Marital deduction and life insurance trusts help you minimize or avoid estate taxes if you have a large estate. In Wisconsin, estate taxes are assessed on assets in excess of $675,000. Federal estate taxes are currently assessed on assets in excess of $2 million.
  • Charitable trusts allow you to set aside money for favorite charities.
  • Special needs trusts enable you to proved assets for a disabled adult child or family member without making them ineligible for Medicaid.
  • Irrevocable trusts allow you to preserve assets for your beneficiaries, even in the event you need Medicare assistance.

Setting Up A Living Trust In Wisconsin

Living trusts, also known as revocable trusts, provide the ability to manage your assets while you’re alive as well as distribute assets to your beneficiaries after your death. At The Law Office of Rollie R. Hanson, S.C., we create trusts for families throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including West Allis and the greater Milwaukee area.

As the trustee, you maintain control over your assets in a living trust. Similar to a will, you’re able to choose how your assets are distributed after your death. Using a trust is an efficient, private method of estate planning. Trust assets are not required to go through the probate process and instead are distributed according to your wishes through a person you select and name as your successor trustee.

Avoiding probate saves your beneficiaries’ time and money while keeping your family’s financial affairs private, whereas a probate proceeding requires your administrator to file an inventory of the estate with the court, and the document becomes a public record.

Contact us today at 414-321-9733 to learn more about creating a living trust in Wisconsin.

Trusts For Disabled And Special Needs People

Many people want to provide money for the benefit of a disabled child or family member in a nursing home as part of the estate planning process. Without good planning, though, a gift like this can go awry and cause the disabled person to become ineligible for Medicaid and other government benefits. Placing the money into a special needs trust allows you to provide for a family member without jeopardizing governmental assistance.

Milwaukee estate planning lawyer Rollie R. Hanson creates special needs trusts for families throughout southeastern Wisconsin and the greater Milwaukee area.

There are many ways special needs trusts can be used:

  • To provide an inheritance for a disabled child without making them ineligible for government assistance
  • In some cases to provide money for a parent or spouse in a nursing home without making them ineligible for Medicaid to pay nursing home expenses
  • To provide a personal injury lawsuit settlement to a severely injured person without making them ineligible for government assistance

When you place assets in a special needs trust for a beneficiary, those assets are not counted as the beneficiary’s personal assets. Alternatively, money is managed by a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiary. Special needs trusts are often used in conjunction with Medicaid planning to preserve a family member’s assets while planning for their long-term care in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Start Planning With Us

It is never too early to create an estate plan. Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation or call us at 414-321-9733 to have your questions answered. We are happy to guide you through the planning process.