We never create a will or trust for a client without also considering other tools which we routinely use to help the clients maximize their control over their unique situation.
Here are some of the tools we most commonly use:
To empower someone else to act on your behalf in financial and similar matters, particularly if you are incapacitated.
To empower someone else to make health care decisions for you, including end of life decisions, if your doctor has certified that you are unable to communicate your desires.
For married couples with larger estates, these agreements are almost mandatory in order for them to effectively position their estate from an optimal tax perspective. In this context they are used to classify ownership of property and even arrange for avoiding probate at death, even in long term marriages.
They are also used in a completely different way by couples in anticipation of marriage, especially for second marriages or when one person comes into a marriage with significantly more assets than the other.
Wisconsin has a new law allowing clients to sign a binding designation of who shall be empowered to dispose of a client´s remains and making specific provisions for their disposition, if desired.