Waukesha Estate Planning Educator

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Selection of your agent is the most important decision made when completing your Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA).  Your agent will make  health care decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself. Before selecting the appropriate person, you should have a understanding of what the job is.  Once the position is understood, select the best candidate to fill the position. After selecting the person, obtain the agent’s consent to serve.…
Using a form for a Health Care Power of Attorney is riskier than having an experienced estate planning attorney assist you in preparing the document.  Most common problems with self-prepared forms include failing to complete in a legally valid manner, making conflicting or unclear directions to your agent, or failing to provide adequate guidance.  I have personally reviewed hundreds of self-prepared legal forms.  Many of these forms have contained errors, omissions, and conflicting guidance. BACKGROUND…
Every adult in Wisconsin needs at least a basic estate plan.  Yes, even a college student buried in debt needs at least two documents.  These documents are a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney.  The focus of this basic planning is to ensure the student has someone to make health care decisions or manage finances in case of a period of incapacity.  This article will first provide the Wisconsin definitions…
A basic estate plan covers incapacity planning and the disposition of property upon death.  Most individuals when thinking about estate planning planning only focus on the later part–death.  When I meet with clients, I always start with the incapacity planning first.  The initial focus should be on matters that can help you while you are still alive.  If you are unable to make decisions about your property and your health care, it is important that…
I prefer not to overburden a prospective estate planning client with unnecessary homework prior to our initial meeting.  Procrastination is the biggest obstacle to planning.  My approach is to avoid providing an additional obstacle to getting the process started. So how much preparation is necessary to make the meeting productive for all of the participants.  First, I will describe the two extremes of preparation: no preparation and over-preparation. I will then conclude with describing the…
I know some excellent plumbers and electricians that work in the area where I live.  I occasionally use their services. But I almost always try to do it myself first.  I am usually very careful before I start a project by first reviewing videos on YouTube or reading a how to manual.  Many suppliers of parts have detailed videos or customer service representatives to provide guidance.  I acknowledge that many self-help or do it yourself…