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Estate Planning

Empowering & Protecting You and Your Family

Planning for your own death is not something you want to do; however, an estate plan can protect your loved ones after you are gone. A Wisconsin estate planning lawyer can ensure your family is secure with a comprehensive and thorough estate plan. Since our founding partner, John McLario, opened this practice in 1953, the law firm of McLario has assisted families in Menomonee Falls and throughout Southeast Wisconsin with their estate planning needs.

As our practice and firm have grown over the years, so has our ability to provide you with reliable estate planning services in a wide variety of situations. Estate planning is not something you should delay. Make sure your final wishes are in place so your family is taken care of after you are gone. Our Wisconsin attorneys put you and your family first.  Contact our lead estate planning attorney, Al Spiegel, for a free initial consultation.

75 %

2 out of 3 American adults still do not have a will.

40 %

40% say the main reason they don't have a will is because they haven't gotten around to it.

Estate Plan Purpose

An estate plan has 3 main purposes:

  • Name someone to make medical decisions if you can’t
  • Name someone to make financial, business or tax decisions if you can’t
  • Decide how assets will transfer in the event of your death to minimize taxes, protect beneficiaries, and ensure your wishes are carried out.

When you have an estate plan you will feel prepared knowing that your wishes will be fulfilled, and your loved ones will know that you cared enough to make sure there is one less thing to worry about during an already stressful situation.

Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic, 2 out of 3 American Adults Still Don't have a Will*

1 in 3 Americans without an estate plan say they don’t have anything to leave behind. *

*Daniel Cobb (2022). 2022 Wills and Estate Planning Study by Caring.com.

Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Most people think that they don’t need an estate plan unless they have young children or a large amount of assets. Here is why anyone 18 years or older should have an estate plan.

  • An estate plan isn’t just about your death and a will but it’s also about incapacity and should also include important power of attorney documents that allow important medical decisions to be made quickly.
  • Once your child reaches 18 years old, they are an adult and you can’t make health care or financial decisions on their behalf without proper estate planning documents.
  • Estate plans prepare for the care of any dependents.
  • If you have a total of over 50,000 of assets that isn’t payable on death you will typically go through probate. Estate planning can help you avoid probate, reduce your estate taxes, and saving you time and money.
  • Proper planning ahead of an unforeseen event saves headaches and misunderstandings. An estate plan protects your loved ones and assets by ensuring your wishes are followed the way you want.

An experienced and trustworthy estate planning attorney will review all of your assets to determine what will transfer based on the contract and what if anything could trump what you have outlined in your will. Our attorneys will ensure everything is accounted for and will operate how you intend without surprises.

Things to Consider

Do you want your three children to receive equal amounts, or do you wish for each grandchild to also receive equal inheritances to be distributed later? There’s a big difference!

Even a small gift might negatively impact someone who is receiving government benefits. Instead, you can create a “special needs trust” to support a special needs child or an adult that is receiving social security, Medicare or other government assistance.

Tips For Success

  • Always keep policies and beneficiaries up-to-date and review at least every 5 years.
  • Always have secondary and tertiary beneficiaries.
  • Never name minor children as life insurance beneficiaries. Instead, put a trust or guardian in place.
  • Never name your estate as your life insurance beneficiary.
  • Be mindful of naming your elder parents on social security or medicare or those without children as the beneficiary.
  • Never name a beneficiary dependent on government assistance as a direct beneficiary.
  • Don’t assume a will trumps a life insurance policy.

Our Milwaukee Area Firm Specializes in the Following Estate Planning Matters

Power of Attorney

Take control of what happens to you if you become incapacitated. A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person or organization as an agent to manage your medical, property, or financial affairs if you cannot do so yourself.

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Wills and Trusts

When you are gone, who will protect your family? You still can. Documents like wills, trusts, and power of attorney are extremely useful legal tools. They shield your spouse, children and grandchildren from a drawn-out legal process by simplifying, streamlining, or eliminating the probate and guardianship process.

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Probates and trust administration in Wisconsin requires careful attention to detail and a comprehensive knowledge of the law. Because we have extensive background in estate planning and experience drafting wills and trusts, it allows our Wisconsin attorneys to provide reliable and effective representation in probates and trust matters for you and your family.

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Estate Tax

One of the most important parts of the estate planning process is tax planning. As part of our estate planning services, we can provide valuable advice concerning estate taxation matters. Our Wisconsin estate tax attorneys help you obtain the maximum benefit from tax exemptions during your lifetime. So, you can preserve the value of your estate for loved ones.

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Estate Planning Beneficiary Checkup


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When you contact our Milwaukee area law firm, your case will be treated like a unique request for assistance.