Estate Planning

Estate Planning

At Ruder Ware we strive to make a difference – and we appreciate differences. We enjoy working with a wide variety of clients to address their immediate and long-term estate planning needs. Our clients include couples with young families, small business owners, corporate executives, retirees, dairy producers, and philanthropists. We listen carefully and respond with innovative and flexible strategies designed to preserve, enhance, and transfer our clients’ assets as they desire.

Personal Client Services
Our estate planning attorneys apply their creativity, knowledge of the law, and drafting skills to tailor cost-effective estate plans for each client’s circumstances. They do not use a one-size-fits-most approach. Depending on your circumstances, our attorneys are able to provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Income, gift, and estate tax planning
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Marital Property and Domestic Partnership Agreements
  • Probate avoidance
  • Planning for the sale or retention of a family business
  • Planning for the financial security of family members
  • Planning gifts to charities and individuals
  • Guardianship
  • Special needs planning
  • Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Matters
  • Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Living Wills
  • Wills
  • Trusts (including trustee services if requested)
    • Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts
    • IRA Protection Trusts
    • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)
    • Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIPs) Trusts
    • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)
    • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)
    • Generation-skipping Trusts
    • Charitable Remainder Trusts
    • Charitable Lead Trusts

Peace of Mind Through Organization
We also help clients organize their affairs to reduce the cost and simplify the administration of their estates. This includes coordinating beneficiary designations of life insurance policies and retirement plans, properly titling assets, and assisting with the collection of information that will be necessary for estate administration.

We Work With Your Trusted Advisors
Our attorneys will work directly with your accountant, financial planner, life insurance agent, and other professional advisors to ensure that the various components of your estate plan are integrated properly.

Founded in 1920, Ruder Ware provides business, employment, estate planning, and litigation services. A full-service law firm, over 45 attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware, Business Attorneys for Business Success.

  • What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

  • Nominations of Guardians for Minor Children

  • Protecting Your Estate Plan from Challenges: No-Contest Clause Explained

Trusts & Estates

Nothing to Prove: Making the Case for Self-Proving Affidavits

Posted on November 15, 2022 by

In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote a blog post on how to create a valid will in Wisconsin.  At the time, we were all stuck at home by government order, and many clients signed their wills without a notary public.  Signing a will without a notary public was a short-term fix during […]

How is That Account Titled?

Posted on September 22, 2022 by

My husband just recently opened a new account at one of those online, do-it-yourself, investment companies.  He promises that with the tiny amount of money I was willing to allow him to experiment with that he will make us tons of money.  After he got the account set up, he asked me to sit beside […]

Will or Trust: Which is Right for Me?

Posted on June 21, 2022 by

One of the most common questions asked by our clients is, “What is the difference between a will and a trust, and which is right for me?”  Last week, I provided a brief summary of the differences between these two common estate planning tools in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this […]

Marital Property Agreements: They’re Not Just for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

Posted on February 23, 2022 by

Spring officially begins on March 20th – less than one month away.  In Wisconsin, that means wedding planning is in full swing.  One important item on many wedding planning to-do lists is a pre-nuptial agreement. We hear a lot about “pre-nups” in pop culture.  One of the most iconic pop culture references is in the […]

Online Document Forms Don’t Always Do the Job

Posted on February 22, 2022 by

Wendell knew he needed a financial power of attorney document in order to make sure he named someone to manage his finances and take care of his business if he was ever unable to do so on his own. However, Wendell was busy and didn’t want to take the time or spend the money to […]

Current Status of Federal Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Posted on February 14, 2022 by

You likely are aware, from the news and our prior communications, that Congress currently is considering proposals that may have a significant impact on many estate plans. Although we still cannot be certain which, if any, of the proposed changes will become law, we want to provide you with an overview of their potential effect […]

Pros and Cons of Using the No-Contest Clause

Posted on December 13, 2021 by

Drafting an estate plan allows a person to put into writing their wishes for division of assets upon death.  Sometimes this means making a choice to give more to one child over the other, or to completely write out natural heirs of law.  An uncle whose nephew is like a son to him may bypass […]

What is the Gift Tax and How Does it Work?

Posted on November 22, 2021 by

Last week, I provided a brief overview of the gift tax in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this blog post, I’ll expand on basic gift tax concepts, just in time to make your holiday gifts. What is the gift tax?  Basically, the gift tax is a tax imposed on the gratuitous […]

Protecting Your Inheritance

Posted on September 20, 2021 by

So you’ve received an inheritance and you’re married. The person who left you the inheritance probably intended for it to benefit you, not your spouse, if you get divorced. How do you protect the inheritance? Wisconsin law provides limited protection.  Under Wisconsin’s Marital Property Act, which governs the classification of assets during marriage and on […]

Estate Planning Considerations for Unmarried Individuals

Posted on September 1, 2021 by

Estate planning is a process that must be customized to fit each individual’s unique situation.  Each individual has their own priorities and issues to address.  The priorities and issues for an unmarried individual are often different than those for married couples.  Some of the common priorities and issues that arise in estate planning for unmarried […]

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