Preparing an appropriate estate plan is important for any person of any age. The term “estate planning” refers to the creation of Wills, Trusts and other documents that control the distribution of your assets upon death or incapacity, including the selection of loved ones who will be responsible for overseeing that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes. In order to avoid lengthy and expensive court proceedings in the probate courts and ease the burden on grieving loved ones, everyone – regardless of their net worth – should have an individualized estate plan. Additionally, an estate plan should be updated every five to seven years, or following any major life event, to ensure that your plan comports with your particular wishes and goals as circumstances change and as the law evolves.
Lodi attorney Geoffrey Lorenz will help you understand the various types of estate planning tools that are available to you and create an estate plan that will accomplish your particular goals for the preservation and distribution of your estate. The estate planning tools that are normally a part of any estate plan include the following:
The best thing that could have happened for me was meeting Attorney Geoff Lorenz. My husband had 2 strokes last year and the another one in January of 2016. He fell and broke his hip, ended up in the hospital and nursing home and I needed help. I needed a Power of Attorney ASAP for medical and financial reasons and also needed my will updated. Geoff had everything done for me within two weeks. I am very thankful for him. Thank you Geoff Lorenz!CRS
Wills (or Last Will and Testament)
The purpose of a Will is to set forth who is entitled to your assets after death; who will be responsible for distributing those assets; and who will care for your minor children, if any. Without a Will, the above questions are determined by Wisconsin law in the probate courts. The probate process for intestate estates (that is, estates without a Will) is extremely time-consuming and expensive and causes inconvenience and hardship to all of those involved. Although Wills must pass through Probate as well in most cases, the preparation of even a simple Will can make life much easier for your loved ones and can ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes, not the government’s.
Revocable Living Trusts
Also known as “inter vivos” trusts, these have become the cornerstone of most estate plans due to their flexibility and ability to completely avoid the probate process. A living trust is simply a document in which you (the “grantor”) transfer your property to a “trustee” for the benefit of others (the “beneficiaries”). Most frequently, the initial trustee and initial beneficiary is the same person as the grantor – you. Upon the death of the grantor, the Trust Agreement will determine how property is controlled or divided up without the involvement of the probate court.
Powers of Attorney for Health Care and for Property
Death is not the only catastrophe that can wreak havoc on the lives of you and your loved ones. In the event that you become incapacitated, Powers of Attorney give the person of your choice responsibility for making your health care and financial decisions. They clarify your wishes for loved ones and settle disputes before they arise, and are an essential component of any estate plan.
Contact Lodi attorney Geoffrey Lorenz to discuss which estate planning tools are appropriate for your situation.
Estate Planning Services and Fees
Lodi attorney Geoff Lorenz charges a flat fee for the creation of most estate plans. The fee may vary depending upon the complexity of the desired plan, but there will never be any surprises. Additionally, Mr. Lorenz will continue to keep you updated on changes in the law which may affect your estate plan even after your plan has been finalized. Mr. Lorenz does not believe that the attorney-client relationship ends once a particular job is done. He believes that once you are a client, you are always a client.
Based in downtown Lodi, The Law Office of Geoffrey J. Lorenz, LLC is conveniently located near clients in the surrounding Lodi and Lake Wisconsin area – including Dane, Okee, Poynette, Waunakee, Sauk City, and Portage. But attorney Geoffrey Lorenz also work with clients throughout the Madison area and will gladly meet with you at your home or other convenient location.
Attorney Geoffrey Lorenz welcomes you to contact him to learn more or to schedule a consultation.