Estate planning is critical for all of us. From being able to make the early choice of who will be able to care for you in a crisis to who should have legal authority to make decisions when you are incapacitated to, ultimately, deciding who should inherit from you at a time when you are no longer here, are each important conversations that take place when you work with your Wisconsin estate planning attorney. Although less than half of all Americans today have an estate plan, its importance in our daily lives cannot be diminished.


While we may choose to ignore the benefits of estate planning and what it can do for us when we are healthy, we have seen firsthand this concept change dramatically in light of a negative healthcare diagnosis. When we are facing a significant health care issue such as cancer, for example, we start to question what the next chapter of our lives will look like. We need to be able to answer questions such as:


  • Who will pay my bills if I cannot? 
  • Who will make sure I have access to government benefits?
  • Who will make my healthcare decisions if I am in a coma? 
  • Do I need a living will?
  • Who should inherit from me at the time of my passing?
  • Who will care for my pets?
  • How can I ensure my business continues when I am not here?
  • Who will be able to make sure my bills are paid on time?
  • How can I make sure my family is provided for in my absence?


Estate planning answers these questions, and so many more, when it comes to caring for those you love, planning for your legacy, and providing for yourself.


Estate planning allows you to answer lifetime questions in advance. This could include, but is not limited to, choosing trusted decision makers to act for you in a crisis when you no longer have capacity to make your own decisions. You can give legal authority through estate planning tools, such as a power of attorney, to those you trust as well as name back ups in the event they are not able to act for you when needed.


When you face a diagnosis such as cancer, careful Wisconsin estate planning can also work hand-in-hand with your health care plan. For example, what treatments do you want to receive? What treatments do you not want to receive? What do you wish to see happen in your business? How do you want your minor children to be cared for? How will you pay for this care? And, if you are unable to act for yourself, who should make these decisions for you?


Further, through your Wisconsin estate planning you can also create your legacy. This is more than just the concept of who should inherit from you at the time you pass away. This is your opportunity to share your dreams for those who will inherit from you and the goals for your legacy. Your experienced Wisconsin estate planning attorney can help you define what your legacy looks like and ensure you have a plan in place to reach it.


We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We want to help you protect your aging relatives. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.