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Author: HJ

Horn & Johnsen SC > Articles posted by HJ

Equine Estate Planning: Do you have a plan for your horse?

The Problem Wisconsin law views our horses and other pets/animals as property. Without written instructions of your wishes, no legal protections exist for your “property.” You cannot leave money or property directly to your animal(s), and informal arrangements are not legally enforceable. What’s the solution? Formally incorporate your four-legged family members into your estate plan! Essential Estate Planning Documents Regardless of your age or financial circumstances, everyone needs an estate plan. For the benefit of your loved ones, you should have at least the following basic estate planning documents in place: ·        Will (does not avoid probate) or Living Trust (avoids probate) ·        Property Power of Attorney ·        Health Care Documents (Health Care Power...

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When is it too late for Estate Planning?

I recently took a trip to central Mexico to visit my parents, who have retired there. While eating breakfast at a restaurant in the Mérida airport upon our arrival my husband asked my 96-year-old grandmother, who was diagnosed several years ago with Alzheimer’s disease and now lives with my parents, “So Mary, what do you appreciate most about living in Mexico?” My grandmother replied, “I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been to Mexico!” Fortunately, everyone at the table (except, perhaps, my 4-year-old daughter) knew the best response in this situation was to smile and simply redirect our conversation. For obvious reasons, it would be too...

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The Brady Bunch: What if Mike and Carol had no Estate Plan?

Many of us grew up watching The Brady Bunch, a popular family sitcom of the late 1960s to early 1970s revolving around a large blended family with 6 children, and many of us can also personally relate to the situation. Statistics show that more than half of all first marriages end in divorce and about 75% of divorced people will marry again, according to the National Stepfamily Resource Center. About 65% of these unions will include children from previous marriages. More than 40% of American adults have at least one step-relative, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. Like Mike and...

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Before I start haranguing landlords about the hazards of using online forms, let me start at the beginning of why we have lawyers, laws, and even crazy laws. Lawyers are necessary in this nation of laws. Laws govern collective behavior from how fast you can drive to where you can build a building and whether you have to follow safe building practices in doing so. Without elaborating on anarchy, suffice to say that anarchy means people drive as fast as they want, on or off the road, cut corners when building houses, skyscrapers, or bridges. And when they see something someone...

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