Are you ready for the end of the year that is quickly approaching? It will soon be 2022! Even with the persisting pandemic, most of us are busy finalizing our end of the year plans, purchasing last minute holiday gifts, and making plans to spend time with family. In fact, this is the perfect time to take stock of what has happened this year, as well as reflect on your goals for the coming year. What went well? What could we improve on?

As you reflect on the past year and look to the future, what are your goals for yourself, your loved ones, and your legacy? We encourage you to take the time to not only think about the immediate actions that must be completed before the end of the year, but that you also remember that completing or updating your Wisconsin estate plan may be the best gift you can give your loved ones. Do you have a current Wisconsin estate plan? As a Wisconsin senior, you may have many questions, such as:

1. Who will make your decisions if you are not able to make them for yourself?
2. If you are in a car accident, who will have the legal authority to pay your bills?
3. Who could handle your business affairs if you could not?
4. What would happen to your pets if you were hospitalized?
5. Should both your adult children be in charge of your finances?
6. Do you need additional insurance policies?
7. Will your retirement plans be able to support you as you age?
8. If you have out of state estate planning documents, will they work in Wisconsin?
9. Have the laws changed in the past few years that now makes your planning irrelevant?
10. Have there been any changes in your family structure that necessitate the need to update your planning?

Each of the above is an important question, in fact we hear questions just like these from our clients and their family members every day. Based on our experience, remember that old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It holds true when it comes to Wisconsin estate planning, you need to know your plan will work when you need it to. This holiday season, a completed Wisconsin estate plan is quite possibly the best gift you can give to your loved ones.

In addition, we want you to know that while Wisconsin estate planning is a critical part of your health and well being there is a second planning component that needs to be addressed and completed as well. This is your elder law planning. Did you know that the majority of Americans will need some form of long-term care after they reach the age of 70? Unfortunately, Medicare will not be able to help much and instead the financial responsibility will fall on the Wisconsin senior to pay for out of pocket. Let us assure you it does not have to be this way! We can work with you to not only create an estate plan but also a long-term care plan that can protect the estate plan you are putting in place and allow you to be able to leave a legacy for your family, no matter what the future holds.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. You are welcome to contact our law practice now, or at any time throughout the year, and schedule a meeting to make sure you have the Wisconsin legal planning you need to accomplish your goals. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with Attorney Alan Hougum.