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Horn & Johnsen News

Horn & Johnsen SC > Horn & Johnsen News (Page 2)

How Vacation Planning is Similar to Estate Planning

My husband and I just returned from a much-needed vacation to Cozumel, Mexico.  When I considered the steps it took to get us there, it occurred to me that vacation planning is surprisingly similar to estate planning! From considering the type of vacation that made the most sense for our family, to researching options online, to choosing a travel agent, every step was equally important to ensure our vacation would meet our expectations. Because we would be traveling with our 3.5-year-old daughter, traveling on the cheap and hoping the pieces came together in the end was simply not a viable option. Therefore,...

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Considerations in a “Gray Divorce”

The frequency of “Gray Divorce” is increasing in Wisconsin.    According to the Washington Post, in the last 25 years, the divorce rate for couples over 50 years old has doubled.  The rate for those over 65 has more than doubled.  As a Wisconsin divorce lawyer, I have noticed the changing demographic of my clients.  To meet the challenges and needs of my clients, I must be educated on the specific issues involved in a  “gray divorce.”  Some of those issues are:        Social security:  be aware of the benefits available for both spouses.  For example, spouses married at least 10...

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The Handshake Agreement is Worth the Paper it is Written On

Co-ownership of an airplane is the cheapest way to fly. Many pilots start out in one of these. Variations of this type of ownership are flying clubs, fractional ownership, or unspoken agreements that more than one person fly an aircraft titled to one person. As the cost of aircraft maintenance and storage is high, it makes sense for most pilots to share the costs with others in exchange for flight time. Anyone in one of these situations, however, could face unseen risk. This risk generally exists in handshake agreements, gentlemen’s pacts, or unwritten rules about part ownership, when nothing is on...

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Common Questions About Medicaid and Medicaid Planning

What Is Medicaid? Medicaid is a need-based medical assistance program administered by federal and state governments. It provides a wide range of medical services to the aged and disabled. You cannot exceed certain income and resource limits if you wish to qualify for Medicaid; you will probably need to “spend down” your assets until you reach required minimums before you are eligible for Medicaid. State and federal governments continue to tinker with Medicaid eligibility and spend down rules. Planning opportunities are available now (even though a spouse may already be in a nursing home) that may not be available in the future....

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Death Probate: What’s the Big Deal?

Many people often assume that, if they have a will, then there should be no need for a court proceeding upon death. After all, you spelled out all of your wishes in writing, and even signed your will at a lawyer's office with witnesses and notaries, so why would a judge get involved? In reality, if you die in Wisconsin owning assets titled solely in your name with a total value exceeding $50,000 (excluding assets with direct beneficiaries such as life insurance or retirement accounts), then these assets must go through the death probate process before they can be transferred to...

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