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
A Will is the foundation of your estate plan. It is vital to ensure that your probate property and possessions are distributed to the people whom you care 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 who gets what
- Effectively distributing assets to individuals and organizations
Trusts in Wisconsin and Minnesota
A Trust is a legal arrangement establishing a person, bank, or law firm as the trustee who holds legal title to property for its beneficiaries. One advantage in establishing a trust is that any property held in trust prior to the donor’s death may pass to the beneficiaries without requiring the time and expense of probate. Some trusts result in “credit shelter” tax advantages for both the donor and the beneficiary. Other trusts protect property from creditors or help the donor qualify for Medicaid. We will work closely with you to ascertain which of the following trust examples best benefit 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
- Probate avoidance—Upon death of the donor trust property passes to whoever is named in the trust without probate court jurisdiction
- Tax planning—Assets are included in the grantor's taxable estate, not in the estates of the beneficiaries, thus avoiding taxes when the beneficiaries die
Irrevocable Trust—The donor cannot change or amend the trust
- Testamentary Trust—Created by a will, has no power or effect until the donor’s will is probated, can reduce estate taxes, can 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
- Credit Shelter Trust—Protects surviving spouse from estate tax
Wisconsin Joint Property
Marital agreements clearly state the intentions of each member of a married couple, or of two people living together, for the surviving partner to receive the portion of property ownership from the other upon his or her death. Marital Property agreements may protect the rights of multiple owners of property such as a vacation home or cabin. Our La Crosse trust attorneys have the state law knowledge of both Wisconsin and Minnesota to fulfill your wishes in a manner respected and recognized by the courts.
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.