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Shoemaker: A Personal Experience

Posted on September 11, 2014 by

This is a tale of a shoemaker who was so busy making everyone else’s shoes that he forgot about his own. We all have plenty of time to get the “paperwork” of our estate planning done, right? For most of us, it’s just another thing to check off as far as being a responsible adult, […]

Inherited IRAs are Not Protected From Bankruptcy Creditor Claims

Posted on June 13, 2014 by

Generally, federal and state bankruptcy laws protect traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) from creditor claims. Courts have differed, however, on whether those laws also protect an IRA that is inherited (an “inherited IRA”) by a child or other beneficiary of the account owner. Historically, Wisconsin courts have taken the position that inherited IRAs are not […]

Is Life Insurance a Suitable Investment? Trustees No Longer Required to Monitor Suitability

Posted on May 19, 2014 by

Under existing Wisconsin law, the trustee of an irrevocable trust that owns life insurance contracts is required to monitor the contracts to determine whether they are suitable investments for the trust and, if necessary, to take steps to prevent the lapse of the insurance coverage. These requirements apply whether or not the trustee was involved […]

E-Z Legal Form Results in Uneasy Post-Death Issues

Posted on May 1, 2014 by

Have you ever seen fill-in-the-blank wills online or in a bookstore? They are inexpensive and can be completed relatively quickly. Unfortunately, those forms are not personalized to meet your estate planning needs and they may lack provisions that are essential to disposing of your assets upon your death in accordance with your wishes. The Florida […]

The Wisconsin Trust Code: Contemporary Trust Laws to Deal With Contemporary Trust Issues

Posted on December 16, 2013 by

Wisconsin has never been considered a leading jurisdiction for the creation and administration of trusts. Thanks to years of volunteer work by some dedicated Wisconsin attorneys, that perception will change significantly on July 1, 2014, when the new Wisconsin Trust Code will go into effect and replace the current Chapter 701 of the Wisconsin statutes. […]

Estate Planning is About More Than Estate Taxes

Posted on January 21, 2013 by , and

After a flurry of last-minute negotiations to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Among other things, it makes permanent the $5 million amount that may be transferred tax-free through a combination of lifetime gifts and transfers at death. For both gift and estate […]

Congress Strikes Deal To Avoid Tax Changes

Posted on January 2, 2013 by

Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 overnight. President Obama has not yet signed the bill into law, but he is expected to sign the bill as proposed. The bill proposes some increases in tax rates, but the changes are not as significant as they could have been if Congress had failed to […]

Planning for Imminent Tax Changes

Posted on November 9, 2012 by

On Tuesday, President Obama was elected to a second term in office. The congressional election results indicate the potential for continuing gridlock between the House of Representatives and the Senate. The election results add to the uncertainty of whether we will return to pre-Bush era tax rates if there is no political compromise before year-end. […]

IRA Rollover by Non-spouse IRA Beneficiary is Prohibited

Posted on November 6, 2012 by

In July 2012, the United States Tax Court reiterated that inherited individual retirement accounts (IRAs) cannot be rolled over. Elizabeth Beech was the beneficiary of her deceased mother s traditional IRA. She received a check from the IRA, opened a new IRA, and deposited the funds from the check into the new IRA. Ms. Beech […]

Social Security Administration Releases Key Figures for 2012

Posted on December 27, 2011 by

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) recently released key figures for 2012 that will affect all elderly and disabled individuals who receive program benefits, including social security benefits, supplemental security income benefits, and Medicare benefits. This notice summarizes these changes and their impact on various benefits. Social Security Retirement For the first time in two years, […]