Special needs trust often are the first "go to" option for persons with disabilities who are in danger of losing valuable public benefits due to the receipt of an inheritance, personal injury award or divorce settlement. In most cases, the use of a properly drafted special needs trust will preserve the beneficiary's eligibility for public benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid, while the trust assets provide for the beneficiary's needs and wants.
The biggest mistake anyone can make with an estate plan is to not have one at all. Although no one likes thinking about their demise, it is still essential to have a basic estate planning document in place. Over half of Americans lack the essentials in this regard.
It is not enough to simply have the documents. You need to ensure you have written them correctly to ensure the state carries out your wishes exactly as you intend. You want to avoid the following mistakes at all costs.
What is Paternity? Paternity actions are brought when a child is born to parents who are not married. If the mother and/or the child are on Badgercare or other state-funded programs, the county in which they reside will often bring a paternity action against the parents to ensure that the child is being financially supported by both parents. Paternity actions can also be brought by one or both parents to work out legal custody, placement, child support, allocation of birthing costs, responsibility to provide health insurance for the child and determination of which parent may claim the child as a dependent on his or her income taxes.
Most families want the best for their frail elderly and chronically ill loved ones. They often seek quality medical and long-term care services to be funded with private pay dollars and/or Medicaid. However, most people are unaware of a government benefit that can cover massage services, therapy, spiritual counseling, dietary guidance, housekeeping and comfort care in addition to nursing care, medical care and drugs at little or no cost to the recipient. Why are people not aware of this program? The problem lies with the name of the program: Medicare Hospice.
One of the advantages of being an adult is having the ability to make your own decisions, whether good or bad. Usually, we consult family members, friends, or professionals for guidance when making different types of decisions, from buying a car, to picking a healthcare provider, to managing our finances. Some of our loved ones need more help than others when making these types of decisions. The State of Wisconsin recently introduced Supported-Decision Making Agreements to empower people to make their own choices in an attempt to improve their quality of life.
Countless people fought over the years for same-sex couples to have the right to marry. Marriage brings about numerous financial and legal benefits for same-sex couples, but there are instances where the couple may want to think twice about tying the knot.
All couples need to consider future estate planning before and after the wedding. You have several options available, and it is essential to consider each to do what is ultimately best for you and your spouse.
Probate is a legal process through which an individual's estate is administered after that individual passes away. Generally, the probate process is supervised by the Court. The probate process is designed to ensure that debts of the decedent are paid and that any assets are distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries.
Attorneys Margaret Hickey, Emily Tercilla, and Lauren Otte attended the 37th Annual Family Law Workshop in Door County at the beginning of August. The three day Workshop in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin included both educational and networking events.
No one looks forward to the divorce process, especially the property division phase, which can be complicated if significant assets are involved.
You probably want to get through the entire ordeal as quickly as possible, but mistakes could be costly, and bad decisions could wreak havoc with your future.
One of the most common questions clients have is what is the difference between a financial Power of Attorney and a Last Will and Testament, and why do I need both. Both documents can be vital parts of an estate plan, as they serve separate purposes, so it is important to understand the difference between the two.