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 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.

  • Gun Ownership: Who Can I Transfer a Gun to in Wisconsin?

  • Guardianships: What are They? What is the Process? Does it Apply to Me?

  • Estate Taxes: What You Need to Know

IRS Releases Publication on RMDs for Inherited Retirement Benefits (and, of course, creates confusion)

Posted on April 19, 2021 by and

Ruder Ware’s Trusts & Estates blog has featured several posts (for example, Call to Action: Review Your Estate Plan in Light of the SECURE Act and Why SECURE Act Matters to You) on the SECURE Act, a federal law effective January 1, 2020,  that made significant changes to the payout provisions of inherited retirement benefits, […]

Proposed Gift and Estate Tax Changes Mean Some May Need to Act Now

Posted on April 9, 2021 by and

In the United States Congress, there is an arduous journey before a bill becomes law.  See the classic School House Rock! video, “I’m Just a Bill.”  But there is a common theme running through some gift and estate tax bills that have been introduced in Congress this year.  That is: an appropriate way to raise […]

Adult Guardianship 101

Posted on March 17, 2021 by

Our team here at Ruder Ware has focused previous blogs and other educational materials on ways to avoid adult guardianship (see Related Articles section at the end of my post); however, there may be some instances where guardianship is unavoidable.  Earlier this month, I attempted to simplify the guardianship process in my vlog.  This blog […]

View More Trusts & Estates Blog Posts

Trusts & Estates VLog

IRS Releases Publication on RMDs for Inherited Retirement Benefits (and, of course, creates confusion)

Posted on April 19, 2021 by and

Ruder Ware’s Trusts & Estates blog has featured several posts (for example, Call to Action: Review Your Estate Plan in Light of the SECURE Act and Why SECURE Act Matters to You) on the SECURE Act, a federal law effective January 1, 2020,  that made significant changes to the payout provisions of inherited retirement benefits, […]

Proposed Gift and Estate Tax Changes Mean Some May Need to Act Now

Posted on April 9, 2021 by and

In the United States Congress, there is an arduous journey before a bill becomes law.  See the classic School House Rock! video, “I’m Just a Bill.”  But there is a common theme running through some gift and estate tax bills that have been introduced in Congress this year.  That is: an appropriate way to raise […]

Adult Guardianship 101

Posted on March 17, 2021 by

Our team here at Ruder Ware has focused previous blogs and other educational materials on ways to avoid adult guardianship (see Related Articles section at the end of my post); however, there may be some instances where guardianship is unavoidable.  Earlier this month, I attempted to simplify the guardianship process in my vlog.  This blog […]

What is the Estate Tax and How Does it Work?

Posted on February 17, 2021 by

Earlier this month, I provided a very brief overview of the estate tax in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this blog post, I’ll expand on estate tax basics. What is the estate tax?  At its foundation, the estate tax is a tax imposed on the transfer of property upon death.  It […]

Stimulus Payments: When Should I File My 2020 Taxes?

Posted on February 11, 2021 by

With Congress still negotiating a third round of stimulus payments, you should carefully consider when to file your taxes this tax season.  Tax season begins February 12th and ends April 15th.  Filing your taxes earlier or later within that time period may determine whether or not you receive the third stimulus payment and how much […]

Holiday Giving: Will My Gifts Have Tax Consequences?

Posted on December 14, 2020 by

The holiday season is a time of giving! With Christmas arriving next week, you might be rushing to find last minute gifts for the special people in your life. Have you considered potential tax consequences of those gifts? The annual gift exclusion for 2020 is $15,000. This means that an individual donor may gift $15,000 […]

Peter, Paul, and Mary Should Make Large Gifts – Now!

Posted on July 30, 2020 by , and

Peter, Paul, and Mary have done well for themselves. Each has a nice home, a seasonal residence, and a large IRA. Coincidentally, each also has an additional $11 million worth of real estate, savings, brokerage accounts, and closely-held business interests. We advised Peter, Paul, and Mary that in 2020 each has a federal gift and […]

IRS Provides More Retirement Plan and IRA Relief

Posted on June 24, 2020 by

Yesterday, the IRS issued additional guidance regarding two hot topics over the last six months: the waiver of the 2020 required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement plans and IRAs, and the change in the required beginning date for RMDs from age 70 ½ to age 72. Extension and Expansion of 60-Day Rollover for 2020 RMDs […]

Why SECURE Act Matters to You

Posted on May 30, 2020 by

The SECURE Act, a federal law enacted on December 20, 2019, made significant changes to how retirement assets, including 401(k) plans and other IRA’s, are treated both during our lives and for our beneficiaries after death. This article will briefly summarize the aspects of the Act that likely matter most to you. During Your Life […]

IRS Provides Information on Where to Send Deceased Individual’s Stimulus Check

Posted on May 7, 2020 by

On the same day we published the article My Deceased Family Member Received a COVID-19 Stimulus Check, Now What? the IRS provided guidance on how to return stimulus payments that were made under the CARES Act to deceased individuals. If your deceased family member or relative received a paper check by mail, you should follow these […]

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