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During the estate planning process, it is important to consider what types of assets make up your estate. Specifically, you should understand the difference between your “probate” and “non-probate” assets. As you might imagine, your probate assets are the ones that must go through probate, a time-consuming and costly process which we previously discussed here. […]

In general, states are considered either “common law property” or “community property” states. Wisconsin, along with a few other states, is a community property state (community property is referred to as “marital property” in Wisconsin). It is important to understand the difference between these two systems for purposes of wealth management planning, estate planning, and […]

A proper estate plan covers not only what should happen upon your death, but also what should happen if you lose your decision-making skills. While planning for incapacity may be as unpleasant as planning for death, it is an important step in the estate planning process. Planning for incapacity ensures that someone you specifically choose […]

Various estate planning documents require you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. These appointees are your “fiduciaries” and include your personal representative, guardian for minor children, trustee, attorney-in-fact, and health care agent. Often times, people name certain individuals for these roles without much consideration, or they may consider the wrong criteria. Below is […]

Some of your most significant assets, like your life insurance and retirement accounts, ask you to make beneficiary designations. If you make valid beneficiary designations on these assets, then upon your death they will pass directly to your named beneficiaries without being subject to the probate process. Click here to view our article on probate […]

Probate is the legal process during which a court oversees the collection and transfer of a person’s assets upon his or her death. In general, the probate process includes filing a will, appointing a personal representative, inventorying the decedent’s assets, paying the decedent’s debts, filing taxes, and distributing the balance of the estate according to […]

A proper estate plan covers not only what should happen upon your death, but also what should happen if you lose your decision-making skills. While planning for incapacity may be as unpleasant as planning for death, it is an important step in the estate planning process. Planning for incapacity ensures that someone you specifically choose […]

Attorney Grant Killoran, a shareholder in O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong & Laing’s Litigation Practice Group, recently co-presented a speech entitled “The Tenth Amendment: The Sword and the Shield of the States” at the 14th Annual State Bar of Texas Bill of Rights: Cutting Edge Controversies in Constitutional Law Conference. Grant co-authored an article on this […]

Do you want to leave your children with an inheritance, but are worried about creditors taking part of that inheritance? If so, you are not alone. Fortunately, a properly established protective trust can help safeguard the money you leave behind for your children from their creditors, including in a divorce. Creditors can more easily reach […]

The estate planning team at O’Neil, Cannon, Hollman, DeJong and Laing, S.C. is safely helping clients create estate plans, or update existing estate plans, during this COVID-19 crisis. Estate planning documents must comply with Wisconsin’s strict signing requirements to be legally enforceable. For example, some documents require two witnesses or a notary to witness a […]

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