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 through its offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.  A full-service law firm, over 40 attorneys provide clients with a one-stop approach to their legal needs. Ruder Ware, Business Attorneys for Business Success.

The Early Bird RMD Doesn’t Get the Tax Relief Worm

Posted on April 6, 2020 by and

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) into law on March 27, 2020.  Ruder Ware’s COVID-19 Focus Team provided a summary of the CARES Act in a previous blog post.  In that post, they mentioned that the CARES Act suspends most required […]

How Do You Create a Valid Will in Wisconsin?

Posted on March 31, 2020 by

In our blog post on estate planning in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Melissa Kampmann and I noted that it isn’t possible to create a valid will in Wisconsin without two witnesses, and it isn’t the best practice to create a will without two witnesses and a notary public.  But there’s more to creating […]

Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19

Posted on March 20, 2020 by and

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many people are stocking up on food and other supplies to get them through prolonged periods of quarantine and government-ordered shutdowns.  Schools are closed and in some locations, businesses are also closing doors to visitors.  Yet people are concerned about planning for a potential incapacity or even […]

Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15

Posted on March 20, 2020 by

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced via Twitter that the tax filing deadline for federal income tax returns has been extended by 90 days to July 15, 2020. Earlier this week, the federal government extended the time for individuals and businesses to pay their federal income tax by 90 days, but did not extend the filing […]

Isn’t an Online Financial Power of Attorney Form Good Enough?

Posted on February 27, 2020 by

When people ask me what they can do to make things easier for their loved ones if something happens to them, the first question I ask is if they have power of attorney documents in place. A good financial power of attorney (“POA”) is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have. […]

Getting Started: Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on January 15, 2020 by

For many people, the first time they start thinking about an estate plan is when they start to have family members that depend on them financially – typically, a spouse or a child. Let’s take, for example, a young married couple with young children. The couple may think they need a will, but they might […]

Call to Action: Review Your Estate Plan in Light of the SECURE Act

Posted on January 7, 2020 by

The federal appropriations bill enacted into law on December 20, 2019 changed federal law in ways that may affect your retirement assets, including 401(k) plans and IRAs.  Those changes, often referred to as the “SECURE Act,” may affect you during your lifetime and also the way those retirement assets may be distributed to your beneficiaries […]

Upcoming Travel Plans? How to Temporarily Delegate Parental Authority

Posted on December 19, 2019 by

Picture this: you are lying on the beach in sunny Aruba, thinking about your best friend, Kristin, who valiantly volunteered to watch your three children while you and your spouse got away from the Wisconsin winter for the first time in ages – when all of a sudden you see a hotel staff member racing […]

My spouse is on Medicaid, now what?

Posted on November 14, 2019 by

It is common for a client whose spouse is receiving Medicaid to lack adequate estate planning to protect those Medicaid benefits in the event the client dies before their spouse. Yet, after all of the time and energy spent to qualify for Medicaid, it would be awful to see those benefits lost simply because proper […]

Create Your Digital Estate Plan

Posted on October 9, 2019 by

It seems like our world becomes more digital each day.  We can manage almost every aspect of our lives online.  But, unless you have updated your estate plan in the last few years, chances are good that your estate planning documents do not address what will happen to your electronic documents, e-mails, text messages, blogs, […]

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