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Iris Christenson

608-273-8609

A message from Iris and Johanna

       A positive legacy...

                  your goal...

                          our mission.

Welcome to our website. We invite you to watch our welcome video and learn more about what we do, who we are, and how we can help you create a positive legacy for your family, your commmunity, and your environment.

       

 
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Our Services

At Christenson and Allex, LLC, we empower our clients with the education they need to create a positive legacy. We review your situation, listen to your ideas, learn about your values, and determine how best to help you achieve a secure future. Contact us to begin creating your positive legacy.

  • Estate Planning and Settlement of Estates. We use several legal tools, such as Wills, Trusts and Powers of Attorney to meet your specific estate planning needs, and we can assist you with the probate process, whether you are an estate beneficiary or personal representative.
  • Elder Law and Special Needs Planning. We can assist you with Medicaid planning, special needs trusts and other legal services so that you can form a plan of care for aging family members or children who have special needs.
  • Nonprofit and Small Business Law. We provide a variety of services related to forming a non-profit organization or small business, such as business formation documents, partnership agreements, or education regarding Board of Directors and officer fiduciary duties.
  • Real Estate. We can help you prepare for buying or selling a home or condominium, represent you at closing, or assist you with the many issues that come up during or after a real estate transaction.

Question of the Month

Each month the attorneys at Christenson & Allex answer questions heard frequently from clients.

April 2014

Question: If my estate plan is built around my revocable living trust, why do I need a Will too?

Answer: In most cases, when you have a revocable living trust and have transferred assets into the name of the trust, your trust serves as a substitute for a Will to deal with your estate after your death. However, there may be assets that were not transferred to the name of the trust or are not controlled by your trust at your death--for example, forgotten savings bonds or a tax refund may be in your name and not the name of your trust. Any assets not owned by your trust will go through probate and will be subject to state statutes of intestacy (which may not be consistent with your trust) if you do not have a Will. Therefore, a "pour-over Will" is necessary to direct your probate estate to be paid or transferred to your trust, so that your intentions in your trust control your entire estate.

Question: When my broker asked if I wanted to designate my account "transfer on death" to my spouse or children, I completed the beneficiary forms she provided. Isn't that the best way to avoid additional expense for preparing estate planning documents and for avoiding probate?

Answer: Beneficiary designations for brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and life insurance are very common to transfer those assets to intended recipients after the death of the owner. In many cases, such beneficiary designations are advisable when they are consistent with a person's overall estate plan. On the other hand, there may be instances when outright transfers may not be advisable--such as planning with a trust for a spouse, children, or grandchildren--where the beneficiary designation circumvents and undermines the estate plan. Consulting with an estate planning attorney is recommended to develop a comprehensive estate plan that considers the use of beneficiary designations, along with Wills and trusts, as appropriate for your individual situation.

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Copyright (c) 2014. The Law Offices of Christenson and Allex, LLC. All rights reserved. Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Johanna Allex