Wills in Wisconsin: Absolute Best Way for Young Couples to Protect their Family
Wills in Wisconsin: Introduction
A last will and testament is a crucial component of estate planning, ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your passing. In Wisconsin, as in other states, creating a will offers various benefits, from providing for loved ones to naming guardians for minor children. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of wills in Wisconsin, what elements should be included, considerations for young families, practical tips for creating a will, and what happens if you don’t have one.
Wills in Wisconsin: Do I Need a Will?
Yes, you do! Even if you’re a young adult, having a will is essential for several reasons:
1. Guardian for Minor Children
Arguably the most critical aspect of a will for young families is the ability to designate guardians for your minor children. This ensures that if something happens to both parents, the children will be raised by individuals you trust.
2. Asset Distribution
A will allows you to specify how your assets, including property, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings, should be distributed among beneficiaries. Without a will, Wisconsin’s intestacy laws will dictate asset distribution, which may not align with your wishes.
3. Peace of Mind
Creating a will provides peace of mind, knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of in case of your untimely demise.
Elements of Wills in Wisconsin
When drafting a will, certain elements should be included to ensure your wishes are followed:
1. Appointing an Executor
Select someone you trust to act as the executor of your will. This person will be responsible for carrying out your wishes, managing estate distribution, and handling related tasks.
2. Asset Descriptions
Provide comprehensive and detailed descriptions of each asset you own, from real estate properties to personal belongings.
3. Naming Beneficiaries
Clearly define who your beneficiaries are, specifying individuals or organizations that will receive your assets.
4. Appointing a Trustee
If you’re leaving assets to minors or others who can’t manage them, appoint a trustee to oversee these assets until the beneficiary reaches an age where they can take over.
Additional Considerations for Young Families regarding Wills in Wisconsin
With wills in Wisconsin, young families should consider the following elements when creating a will:
1. Creating a Revocable Trust
A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, can be altered or canceled during your lifetime. It helps reduce estate taxes and protect assets from creditors, making it a valuable tool for estate planning.
2. Planning for Funeral Arrangements
Include specific instructions for funeral arrangements in your will to alleviate the burden on your family during a difficult time. These instructions can cover everything from the type of service you prefer to your burial wishes.
Tips for Creating Wills in Wisconsin
Creating a will might seem overwhelming, but these steps can simplify the process:
1. Make a Comprehensive Asset List
Before drafting your will, compile a detailed list of all your assets, including property, financial investments, personal belongings, and digital assets.
2. Specify Beneficiaries
Think carefully about who you want to inherit each asset and clearly define these individuals or organizations in your will.
3. Consider Trusts
For minors or beneficiaries who can’t manage assets, consider creating trusts to ensure their financial security and responsible asset management.
4. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney ensures your will complies with all legal requirements and is enforceable.
What Happens Without a Will?
If you don’t have a will in Wisconsin, your assets may be distributed based on the state’s “intestacy laws.” These laws provide guidelines for the court on how to divide your assets among your surviving spouse and descendants.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wills in Wisconsin
Q1. What is a will? A will is a legal document outlining how your assets should be distributed upon your death. It also allows you to appoint guardians for minor children and trustees who manage assets left to minors until they reach the age of majority.
Q2. At what age should I consider creating a will? If you’ve started a family, it’s crucial to create a will. Whether you’ve had a child, purchased your first home, or simply want to plan for the future, creating a will, regardless of your age, is essential.
Q3. Can I change my will as my family grows and circumstances change? Yes, you can and should update your will as your family grows and your circumstances change. Life events such as the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, or significant changes in your financial situation are all good reasons to review and amend your will.
For more detailed information on the estate planning process and laws in Wisconsin, consider checking out this free resource from the UW Law School and the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Estate Planning Guide.
If you’re ready to create your will or have questions about estate planning, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys at Dahlberg Law Group. We’re here to help you secure your family’s future.