Estate Planning & Probate

HELPING YOU MANAGE YOUR ASSETS

Estate planning is a broad area of law with many components that can affect you and your family in significant ways. Our estate planning attorneys at Monahan, and Johnson, S.C. have decades of experience helping families prepare for the future. We can help you with your estate plan, so you can have peace of mind your loved ones will be taken care of.

Typical documents that are part of an Estate plan include Wills, Trusts, a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Elder Law.

Trusts

There are many different types of trusts with different purposes. For example, there are special needs trusts, which are designed to help provide for disabled individuals. There is also known as an irrevocable life insurance trust, which can help provide funds to help pay estate taxes. One of the most common trusts in Beloit & Janesville, WI, is the Revocable Living Trust.

A revocable trust is typically an alternative to a will. When the trust is revocable, it can be amended or changed by the grantor (the person who created the trust) and can even be terminated by the grantor. However, after the grantor’s death, the trust cannot be changed. When a person or couple creates the trust, they transfer their assets to the trust. In the normal revocable trust, the grantors name themselves trustees, although it is possible to appoint a trustee other than themselves. The trustee then manages and controls the assets of the trust. Ultimately, the assets are often held to benefit a third person, which is a beneficiary. The grantor or grantors can nominate a guardian for minors and set up a separate trust to manage the assets until the beneficiary reaches a specified age. The revocable trust will explain how the grantor wants their assets to be divided and distributed to the beneficiaries on the grantor’s death. A significant benefit of the trust is it can be used to avoid probate. Probate can become fairly expensive and time-consuming, especially when compared to the cost of creating and terminating a trust.

Our Trust Attorneys have drafted thousands of different types of trusts. We are ready to put our experience to work for you.

Monahan & Johnson
Monahan & Johnson

Wills

Under a will, instructions are given about how you wish to have your estate divided among your beneficiaries upon your death. The will is submitted to the probate court, where it becomes a public record. A notice to creditors is then published in the local newspaper. This notice informs creditors that they have to bring any claims against the estate for any outstanding debts of the deceased person to get paid from the estate property. The probate court makes sure claims of creditors are paid to the extent of available assets, and your remaining assets are divided among your beneficiaries as you directed in your will. In addition, a person or persons are appointed to act as the Personal Representative. The Personal Representative gathers up the assets and prepares what is called an inventory which then is filed with the court. 

POA

A Financial Durable Power of Attorney appoints an individual to handle your financial affairs should you become incapacitated or simply no longer wish to make financial decisions on your own. A Durable Power of Attorney can be used to avoid a guardianship proceeding should the need arise. Typically under a Power of Attorney, your agent has authority to manage and control and dispose of your assets, make gifts, and deal with certain governmental agencies, such as the IRS. The durable power of attorney is in effect until death unless it is revoked.

Under a Health Care Durable Power of Attorney, you can appoint an individual or individuals to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you’re unable to do so. Your agent can step into your shoes and make all of the decisions you could make if you were able. Your agent should be fully advised of your wishes regarding possible medical contingencies.

Elder Law

Elder law is a term for a wide variety of services our office can provide to the elderly. These areas of practice include planning for Medicaid, guardianship proceedings, tax planning and preserving assets, and long-term care planning. With the ever-increasing costs of nursing home care, this has become a significant concern for many families. Our elder law attorneys are here to help and guide you through these difficult decisions in Beloit & Janesville, WI.

Our experienced eldercare attorneys at Monahan & Johnson are more than happy to sit down with you and discuss your options and help you come up with an estate plan that works for you and your family so that you know that your loved ones will be taken care of in the will.

Monahan & Johnson