Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


Accept   Cancel

Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


Accept   Cancel

PAL Login

linkedin.jpgyoutube.jpgvimeo.jpgtwitter_off.png View Ruder Ware

Shanna N. Yonke

Professional Experience

Shanna’s undergraduate degree in sociology has prepared her for understanding family dynamics, something she uses while respectfully navigating complicated family situations.  Shanna takes time to get to know her clients and what makes their situation unique.  Once she has a solid understanding of their goals and objectives, she creates a plan for their future and outlines how to pass down their legacy.

Shanna has a particular interest in working with the next generation of closely held business owners, assisting with their estate planning, business interests, drafting of complex trusts, and LLC operating agreements.  The transition of a family-owned  business is unique, complete with challenges and opportunities.  Shanna has worked with families where multiple children are interested in having an active role with the family business, families where one of several children are interested in being active in the future of the business, and families where no children are interested in inheriting the business.  Through these experiences, she’s learned the importance of facilitating family meetings and of approaching the conversation with compassion and complete transparency.

Recently, Shanna has been involved in estate and trust litigation cases.  Remedying estate plans gone wrong, learning what items can be contested, and what areas are vulnerable, has made her a better plan drafter.  She knows what situations may be prime for potential litigation and how to create estate plans that are less susceptible.

Recently, Shanna worked with clients on the following:

  • Transferred wealth to the next generation in a tax-efficient manner by using a complex, creditor-protected trust and structuring a closely held business to optimize valuation discounts for lack of marketability and lack of control
  • Facilitated family meetings to plan for the next generation’s ownership and management in a closely held business and implemented the plan by preparing business and estate planning documents
  • Worked with a surviving spouse to protect her home and other property held in a vaguely drafted trust from being distributed to her deceased husband’s children through his estate
  • Served as trustee, working in partnership with family’s financial advisor, to distribute assets and manage a trust
  • Oversaw trust administrations for clients ensuring property and assets are distributed to beneficiaries per the decedent’s expressed wishes

Actively involved with Wausau’s Young Professionals Group and United Way’s Emerging Leaders, Shanna is a tireless advocate for the next generation of business leaders.  She enjoys working with local young professionals to establish estate plans that can grow with them and their families as they progress in their careers.

A native Wisconsinite, Shanna can be found enjoying the beautiful Northwoods by hiking, running, and boating.  In the wintertime, she likes to stay warm in local yoga studios and in front of her fireplace with a great book.

Education

  • B.A. (summa cum laude with high distinction), University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (2009)
  • J.D. (magna cum laude), University of Minnesota Law School - Minneapolis, MN (2012)

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Marathon County Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division, Co-Chair (2012 - 2014), Member (2012 - present)

Admitted to Practice

Wisconsin Supreme Court

Professional Recognition

  • 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award, United Way of Marathon County
  • ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient (2016), Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce
  • Above & Beyond Award Recipient (2016), United Way Women in Action
  • 20 Under Forty Honoree (2014), Daily Herald Media

Professional Activities

  • State Bar of Wisconsin - Wills for Veterans, Program Coordinator (2012 - 2016)
  • Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce - Business Retention & Expansion Committee Member (2012 - 2014), Hype Member (2014 - present)
  • Wausau Estate Planners Forum - Member (2013 - present)
  • Connexus Credit Union - Board Associate (2017 - present)

Civic Activities

  • Monk Botanical Garden - Young Professional Event Committee Member (2017)
  • Junior Achievement of Northcentral Wisconsin, Inc. - Instructor (2014 - 2015)
  • Kids Voting USA of Marathon County, Inc. - Director and Marketing Committee Chair (2012 - 2014)
  • Marathon County Leadership Coalition - Member (2012 - 2013)
  • Stratford High School - Mock Trial Coach (2012 - 2013)
  • United Way of Marathon County
    • Emerging Leaders - Board Past Chair (2018), Board Chair (2017), Board Vice Chair (2016), Connect Team Member (2012 - present); Member (2012 - present)
    • Women in Action - Board Past Chair (2017), Chair (2016), Vice Chair (2014 - 2015), Events Committee Member (2013 - present), Power of the Purse Committee Co-Chair (2016), Member (2012 - present)
    • Discovery Team - Member and iLab Participant (2016 - 2017)
    • LIFE Report Priority Setting Advisory Team - Member (2017)
  • Wausau River District, Inc. - Downtown Employee Appreciation Week Committee (2015 - 2017)

Articles

Legal Updates

Presentations

  • Charitable Giving Strategies, Wausau Professional Advisors Fall Symposium – 11/9/2017
  • Live With Passion, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Americorps & College Interns Luncheon – 8/2/2017
  • Ethics, NBI's The Probate Process from Start to Finish Seminar - 6/23/17
  • Sale of Property and Distributions, NBI's The Probate Process from Start to Finish Seminar - 6/23/17
  • YPhilanthropy: Opportunity, Passion, Commitment & Responsibility, YP Week Wausau Speaker Crawl – 4/24/2017
  • Multi-Generational Planning for the Family Property, State Bar of Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference – 10/21/2016
  • Multi-Generational Planning for the Family Property, State Bar of Wisconsin CLE – 4/12/2016
  • Paying Retirement Benefits to Trusts, Madison Estate Planning Council – 5/27/2014
  • Wills for Veterans Attorney & Paralegal Training, State Bar of Wisconsin CLE – 5/14/2014
  • Family Property LLCs, Wausau Estate Planners Forum – 4/17/2014
  • Wisconsin Trust Code, Wisconsin Judicare Seminar – 3/27/2014
  • Wisconsin Trust Code, Wisconsin NAELA Chapter Annual Conference – 1/31/2014