There are 4 important times in your life where you should consult an experienced lawyer to protect your assets and family
During the first part of your life you could be excused for not thinking about how your assets will be distributed once you’ve passed on. After marriage, however, you have someone else to be looking out for.
After tying the knot you’ll need to ensure that your estate is in order by updating your will to add your spouse as a beneficiary, add property acquired in the union, and make your new spouse the executor of your will.
Your living will should also be updated. If you trust someone enough to spend the rest of your life with them, they should know what sort of end of life decisions you’re comfortable with, and be authorized to make them on your behalf. By granting your new spouse power of attorney they will be able to make difficult decisions on your behalf.
After the Death of a Loved One
The death of a loved one can be an emotionally trying time. The probate process is confusing and frustrating even when you’re not distracted by a recent loss. An estate planning attorney is a major help in ensuring your loved one’s estate makes it through the probate process smoothly and their assets are divided fairly.
Every county and region will have their own laws about the probate process. Hiring a local lawyer is the simplest way to get your loved one’s assets into the right hands as soon as possible.
After the Birth of a Baby
With the birth of a child you should begin to think about how your estate is structured for the next generation. After your newborn arrives your life may be thrust into chaos for months as you get a handle on parenthood and estate planning might not be on your radar.
Even though you’re planning to be around for your child for a long time, it is important to set up a will with them in mind just in case the worst happens. Changes to your will may include naming a guardian, setting up a trust in their name, designating your child as a beneficiary, or giving them power of attorney.
A divorce is often the most turbulent experience of a person’s life. Things that seemed settled are suddenly up in the air and your family suddenly looks very different. Divorces can be hard-fought battles between two opposing forces, but even if they’re amicable it’s wise to contact an estate planning attorney to make sure your assets are protected.
When a marriage ends it is important to decide know who the beneficiary of your will is. If it was your spouse they will remain your beneficiary after the divorce. You may change your beneficiary to be your children, or another trusted loved one.
Naming a guardian for your children is another important post-divorce consideration. If a guardian isn’t named, the state of Wisconsin will give guardianship to a surviving biological parent, even if they don’t have custody of the children.