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Horn & Johnsen News

Horn & Johnsen SC > Horn & Johnsen News (Page 4)

How to Make Sure Your Children Don’t Inherit at Age 18

If you are the parent of minor children, then having a will in place is essential. In addition to designating guardians for your children and naming a personal representative (a/k/a “executor”), your will also sets forth the disposition of your estate upon your death and should include the creation of testamentary trusts to ensure your children do not inherit your assets at age 18. A “testamentary trust” is a type of trust which arises upon your death, and which is created under the terms of your will. Often, parents who create a will unintentionally override the provisions of their wills by...

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The Trouble with “I Love You” Wills

The most common estate planning document used by married couples is affectionately referred to by estate planning attorneys as the “I Love You” Will. Within this type of will, each spouse leaves all assets to the surviving spouse upon the first death, then to the couple’s joint children upon the second death. Provided you and your spouse title all assets jointly and name each other as direct beneficiaries on your life insurance policies and retirement accounts, there is generally no probate proceeding upon the first death and your will never even comes into play. After this, things can get tricky with some...

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5 Reasons You Need a Will if You Have Minor Children

If you are the parent of a minor child or minor children, having a will in place is essential. With a properly drafted will, you can accomplish all of the following: Name a Guardian 1. Your will designates your preference for guardians of your minor children. Name a Personal Representative 2. Your will names a personal representative (also known as an executor) who will be in charge of your estate upon your death. Control the Distribution of Your Children's Inheritance 3. Your will can establish testamentary trusts for your children to ensure they do not inherit your assets outright at age 18. To fully accomplish this...

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Wisconsin Pet Trusts

The Attorneys and staff at Horn & Johnsen SC know that our pets are friends, companions and family rather than property. >Unfortunately, Wisconsin law views our pets as property. The bottom line is: without written instructions of your wishes, your "property" can be legally destroyed. Every hour of everyday 50 companion animals are euthanized in US animal shelters simply because their human companions died and made no arrangements for their continuous care. Moreover, informal arrangements are not enforceable.  Leaving your pet and some cash to a beneficiary in your will could result in the pet being euthanized and the money being pocketed. In...

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Who is Responsible for the Debts of My Parents When They are Gone?

Over the years, I have received many questions from clients and others regarding estates. A very common question is, “Who will be responsible for the debts of my parents when they are gone?” This question is most concerning when you become aware that your parent(s) do not have sufficient assets of their own to pay their debts. Children are not personally responsible for their parents’ debts. Your parent’s estate will be held responsible for his or her debts and, if there are any assets left over after all debts and expenses have been paid, the beneficiaries of his or her estate...

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