Trusts & Wills


Trusts are not only for the rich and famous. They are quite useful in planning out how an estate will be used after a person’s death regardless of the dollar value of the estate. But end-of-life divvying up of assets is not all a trust does.

A trust is simply where one person legally holds assets (money, real estate, etc.) on behalf of another. Several types of trusts are available, and you would have numerous reasons to set up a trust. At Milwaukee Law, we can help you create a trust that meets your individual needs, protects your assets, and protects your family. 

Trusts for a Minor Child

Many people leave money to their children or grandchildren in a trust as part of an inheritance. This type of trust is set up to ensure the money is there for the minor’s benefit and covers expenses such as support, education and medical expenses. Once the minor reaches a certain age or achievement level, they may receive money from the trust to do with as they please. 

Marital Trusts

Martial trusts are often set up for tax purposes or for property protection. This type of trusts allows for tax exemption under certain circumstances and can also protect property from or for a spouse should there be adult children from previous unions on the deceased’s side. 

Revocable Living Trusts

Revocable living trusts are legal documents that work in conjunction with a will, but are separate from a will, to ensure the wishes of the deceased are carried out. This type of trust is usually set up when property is located in different states and/or to avoid probate attorneys Milwaukee.

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts

Irrevocable life insurance trusts (aka ILIT) can be used to move the deceased’s life insurance proceeds outside his or her estate for estate tax purposes.

Spendthrift Trusts

These trusts typically have an independent trustee who has complete discretion over the distribution of assets of the inheritance. They are set up to provide asset protection for beneficiaries from creditors and/or themselves.

Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust is a tool that enables a person to leave an inheritance to a person with special needs. Many individuals with special needs receive government benefits. If a special needs individual suddenly were to inherit a large sum of money, it could disqualify them from receiving government benefits to which they are entitled until the inheritance is spent. A special needs trust protects those government benefits while allowing the person to have money from their inheritance.


Most people have a basic understanding of what a will is and may download an online fill-in-the-blanks will to name the recipients of their worldly possessions upon their demise. But naming who rightfully becomes the owner of your assets after you pass on is not a one-size-fits-all form; this type of will may not be the best fit for you. With extensive experience, at Milwaukee Law, we will guide you through this important step in your life planning. 

Who Gets What?

The most common use for drawing up a will is to make a legal and binding list of who gets what after the owner’s death. A will states your intentions as to who gets what and how much. It makes divvying up the estate easier for loved ones during the time of grieving. Often disputes arise among the living about inheritance. A will gives all parties involved a legal leg to stand on should that dispute end up in court.

Who Will Raise My Children?

In the event that parents die and leave behind minor children, the parents can go to their untimely graves knowing their children will be well cared for by someone of their own choosing and legally named in their will. Typically, a first and second choice will be named to raise their minor children to cover the unfortunate event that both parents and first-named guardians are involved in the same fatal accident. The second-named guardians may also have the opportunity to step up and raise the minor children in the event that the first-named guardians are unable to fulfill their duty at the time of the parent’s death.

Established Trusts

A will can set boundaries and limitations on the time an inheritance is received and for how long it may be used. A parent may wish for their children not to receive their portion of assets until they turn 21. Even then, the parent may want the 21-year-old to receive a set amount in monthly or yearly increments. If there is one vacation home, one boat or one of another asset that the whole family enjoys using, an established trust outlined in the will can divvy up the set time each party has access to the desirable asset.

Various trusts can also be set up via a will to avoid paying inheritance tax—state or federal taxes that can take a chunk out of the inheritance money before your loved ones can enjoy it.


Powers of Attorney

The term “power of attorney” (POA) may sound a bit ominous, but it’s simply giving someone the legal right to make decisions for you. It’s often used in cases of elder care or medical conditions when people might be or become unable to make decisions for themselves. The power can be invoked for either short-term or long-term usage. 

The person giving power of attorney to another determines how little, how much and how long the decision-making power will be. For example, a person may have a terminal illness and have certain wishes they want carried out at the end of their life. Power of attorney can be granted for end-of-life care with explicit directions given to the person wielding the power of attorney.

There are three types of power of attorney: limited power of attorney, durable power of attorney and springing power of attorney.

Limited POA gives the attorney-in-fact (person chosen to have the POA) the right to act on behalf of another regarding one specified area, such as health care. POA can also be given in financial matters, business dealings or any other specific area where you might need someone else to make a decision on your behalf. Limited power of attorney automatically expires when the specified deal is completed.

Durable POA gives the attorney-in-fact the legal right to make decisions that span the gamut of normal day-to-day life, including health care, buying or selling real estate or getting a home inspection Milwaukee, and financial and business matters. Durable power of attorney does not expire and is typically the type of POA given when dealing with the long-term health care of an elderly or terminally ill loved one.

Springing POA does not go into effect until or unless a specific event occurs. The event can be anything, but it is often put into place for use if/when a person becomes physically or mentally disabled. If the need should ever arise to create a springing power of attorney, be absolutely specific about what your definition of disabled is so it will be clear to all involved when the time comes for the attorney-in-fact to make the necessary decisions.

At Milwaukee Law, we are here to guide you through this process and make sure you have the protection you need.


Estate Planning

Who is going to inherit your classic Mustang convertible when you die? Who will fight over the lake house after you’re gone? If you should meet with an untimely death, who would finish raising your children to adulthood?

Estate planning attorney Milwaukee  while you’re still living puts the power to answer these questions into your hands. Estate planning through a reputable and experienced attorney allows you to put your wishes down in legal black-and-white. Rest assured that your final wishes will be met regarding everything from real estate, automobiles, businesses, childcare and more. Even your final wishes for funeral arrangements can be included and carried out through estate planning.

Who Gets What?

Estate planning allows you to dictate who gets the cars, home and any other tangible things you deem valuable and desirable. Having a legal list made of who gets what prevents loved ones from dealing with unpleasant issues after you have departed.

The Children

Children are living parts of your estate and will be unable to care for themselves, let alone assets and liabilities, should you meet with an untimely death before they are of legal age. Estate planning helps you legally prepare for that most unfortunate event by naming who you want to finish raising your minor children. You may also wish to detail how and when you want the minor children to receive their inheritance.

Consider the fact also that the same person who you want to finish raising your minor children may not be the same person you wish to hold onto and dole out their monetary inheritance after you’re gone. Estate planning will cover that aspect—and others regarding the inherited money—through an established trust.

Final Resting Place

Through estate planning, you can dictate how you want your remains to be handled. With an estate plan, decisions such as burial or cremation, where to be buried or have ashes scattered and other details regarding the celebration of your life are in your hands while you are still alive.

Trustees and Executor

Who do you want to handle your business after you’re gone? Name your estate trustees and executer of your estate while you’re alive so you know your life’s work will continue as you wish. At Milwaukee Law, a reputable and experienced attorney will walk you through an estate planning so your wishes will be carried out in the event you’re not around to do it yourself.


Elder Law

People are living longer than ever before, which is a good thing. But sometimes the increased life-span raises questions regarding the care of an aging loved one. Finding yourself in the position of having to care for an aging parent who is unable to live alone due to health issues or safety concerns raises a variety of legal questions to which the average person doesn’t have the answers.

People receiving any type of government benefits, such as retirement social security, disability payments, Medicaid or Medicare, may be familiar with all the details of receiving and maintaining the funds, but younger family members who find themselves suddenly thrust into the role of caregiver may be clueless as to how it all comes together and what happens next. The stress and worry over financial matters combined with that of caring for an elder loved ones sometimes proves to be too much for younger family members to handle on their own.

Fortunately, this situation doesn’t have to be dealt with alone. At Estate Planning Attorneys Kansas City, we are ready to help you during this stage of your and your loved one’s life. Let qualified and experienced attorneys handle the applications needed to procure funds for the care of your loved one. We will guide you every step of the way through this often complicated, intimidating and overwhelming process.

Sometimes applications for medical benefits from the government are denied, and families feel that they have no recourse or other avenues to turn to for financial help. An attorney with knowledge of elder law will be able to file an appeal on your or your loved one’s behalf to try to obtain the needed benefits through a fair hearing process.

Even after benefits have been obtained and utilized for a period of time, there are annual reviews to contend with, and if circumstances change for a person receiving government benefits ascribed to the elderly or disabled, those changed circumstances must be reported within a specified amount of time or penalties can be instated.

A Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) is well versed in the law pertaining to government benefits, reviews, reporting issues and a host of other concerns that the elderly, the disabled and their caregivers have to deal with. They are ready, willing and able to assist you with your elder law needs.


Asset Protection Planning

One divorce, one bad business decision, or one serious accident is all that’s needed to wipe away the financial assets that took a lifetime to build up. But having a legal plan in place will protect those assets in the event of a catastrophe.

Asset protection planning ensures that your assets will be protected after they are passed on to your beneficiaries from their future ex-spouses, creditors, judgment decrees and even themselves. However, asset protection must be set up in advance to work and keep the family wealth within the family it was intended for.

Before leaving your children their inheritance outright, consider some of these scenarios:

  • Are your adult children still too young or immature to handle money properly?
  • Is a future divorce a possibility that would cause your children to lose one-half of what you are entrusting to them?
  • Do you children have good business sense? Might they loss all their inherited wealth in one bad business decision?
  • Could they be involved in a serious accident, be sued in a court of law and lose everything?
  • Could your children be injured or develop a debilitating illness that would require long-term rehabilitation, nursing home care, or chiropractors Wauwatosa?
  • And lastly, while not something any parent wishes to consider, what happens to the assets you leave to your children should they die prematurely?

We want to leave our assets to our children for their personal benefit, not so someone else ends up with our lifetime of acquired wealth through a divorce attorney Milwaukee or lawsuit. The way in which we bequeath our worldly possessions to our children determines how much asset protection they will have in case one or more of the above scenarios becomes a reality in their lives.

Consider also that adult children in certain professions are more likely to be involved in a lawsuit than others. Doctors, lawyers, business owners and landlords are subjected to more lawsuits than those in blue-collar professions. Adult children with a history of any type of substance abuse, gambling habit or poor matrimonial track record also need asset protection planning to protect them from themselves.

Creating a lifetime trust for your children with the assistance of a qualified attorney ensures the assets you leave them remain with and benefit them as you desire.

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