Estate Planning: Not just for the Rich!
Aug 19, 2021
There is a common misconception that if you do not own many assets that you do not have to worry about a will or estate planning. Estate Planning is not only about your finances; and it is more than just a Last Will and Testament. Planning for the future does not have to be expensive and it can save you and your family time and money in the long run. Let us review some reasons for estate planning even if you do not own many assets.
Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament dictates who will receive the assets you own at the time of your death. If you die without a Will, the state will determine how your assets are divided. If you do not have many assets, that might not worry you. However, a will can also determine who the guardian of your minor children will be. Instead of letting the courts decide who will raise your children, parents can choose a guardian in their will.
Declaration to Physicians
A Declaration to Physicians clearly explains your choices for major medical decisions such as feeding tubes and life support. The reason to have a Declaration to Physicians drafted is to make sure your Power of Attorney for Healthcare knows your major medical decisions in case you become unable to communicate. Your loved ones do not need to be stressed with the decision of what to do, because you have already made your wishes clear.
Power of Attorney for Healthcare
A Power of Attorney for Healthcare appoints a person of your choosing to be responsible for making your major medical decisions. Your Power of Attorney for Healthcare goes into effect if you become disabled or are unable to communicate. The reason to have a Power of Attorney for Healthcare drafted is to make sure you get the appropriate medical attention without delay. Your Power of Attorney for Healthcare can make your medical decisions promptly, without waiting for the court to appoint someone to make those decisions for you.
Power of Attorney for Finances
A Power of Attorney for Finances dictates who can handle your finances on your behalf if you become unable to do so. You may not have a lot of financial obligation, but everyone has bills to pay. Having a responsible person of your choosing taking care of your finances in a timely matter is important. Also, if you are a small business owner, a Power of Attorney for Finances allows the person you choose to have the authority to continue to run, make changes or sell your business. This will allow your business to continue operating without interruption and without having to wait for the court to choose who to appoint.
In Wisconsin, if the assets of an Estate do not exceed $50,000, it is not necessary to probate the estate. Knowing this and planning accordingly can save your loved one’s time and money. To learn more about how small estates are administered, check out our blog, Small Estates In Wisconsin. It is also important to note, there are different ways you can help lessen the amount of assets that are subject to probate. Read our blog, Easy Ways to Help Avoid Probate.
No matter the value of your estate, planning for your family’s future is important. At Pedersen Law Office, LLC we offer free consults to discuss your circumstances and goals to help you plan for you and your family’s future. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Kimberly, Kaukauna, Menasha, Neenah, Oshkosh, Green Bay, De Pere and their surrounding areas.