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.

  • Mixed Family Dynamics

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

  • Nominations of Guardians for Minor Children

Trusts & Estates

Gifting, Inheritance, and Capital Gains Tax: When Should I Give My Kids Their Inheritance?

Posted on January 9, 2024 by

As people begin to think about passing on their assets to the next generation, some consider gifting to their children during their life, rather than passing their assets by inheritance at their death.  Possible motivations for this type of transfer include transferring ownership of a business to a child or the protection of assets in […]

Common Misconceptions About Estate Planning

Posted on December 28, 2023 by

There is a lot of confusion about estate planning. This is understandable. Most people don’t deal with these issues on a regular basis, and planning for what happens when we die or become incapacitated isn’t something most of us like to think or talk about. Common misconceptions about estate planning include: 1. Having a will […]

Estate Planning Considerations for Business Owners

Posted on October 23, 2023 by

When your days are consumed with running a business, it can be hard to look ahead towards tomorrow’s to-do list, much less towards a to-do list for something far in the future, like estate planning. If you’ve pushed off putting in writing what will happen to your business once you’re gone, it’s time to tackle […]

Who Plans My Funeral?

Posted on April 11, 2023 by

Many clients wonder who is responsible for planning their funeral, selecting burial or cremation, and making other arrangements after their death.  Some clients ask what happens if family members disagree about these matters. In Wisconsin, there is a default law that dictates who has the authority to make these decisions after your death.  The default […]

Shaken or Stirred? Mixed or Blended?

Posted on December 15, 2022 by

When I meet with new clients I have them fill out what we refer to as our estate planning “questionnaire.”  Basically, a form that asks them to insert personal information on the first two pages and financial information on pages 3-5.  Page one asks about marital status and page two asks the potential client to […]

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 […]

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