No matter the number of beneficiaries or the size of the estate, family feuds about inheritances can result in permanent estrangement. Mediation is a cost-effective, efficient mechanism to resolve such disputes and mend and even strengthen formerly broken ties.
In Wisconsin, the question is unsettled as to whether a lawyer retained to administer a probate estate or a trust represents the fiduciary or the estate. Similarly, the law is unsettled as to the duties the lawyer owes to the beneficiaries. These are important concerns. Here’s why.
Feb. 18, 2015 – Imagine facing a legal question and unable to find an answer. Every lawyer’s nightmare? Perhaps. But that was often the challenge estate planning attorneys faced prior to passage of the new Wisconsin Uniform Trust Code, says Randy Nelson. The new trust code sets out a series of default rules.
July 2, 2014 – For more than 40 years Wisconsin lawyers have turned to Eckhardt’s Workbook for Wisconsin Estate Planners for indispensable guidance in the demanding realm of estate planning. This 2014 edition is especially timely because it includes extensive discussion of the new Wisconsin Trust Code, which took effect on July 1, 2014, and will significantly change the testamentary landscape.
The new Wisconsin Trust Code, effective July 1, 2014, is transformative and makes Wisconsin a better place to administer trusts. It answers basic questions not covered in the previous trust code and provides new tools that add flexibility for estate planning attorneys and their clients.
The State Bar of Wisconsin National Mock Trial planning team is calling on attorneys, judges and experienced teachers and coaches from around the state to step up to the bench and volunteer to serve on a judging panel during the 2014 National High School Mock Trial Championship on May 9 and 10 in Madison.
In this bizarre online world, even people who have no desire to enter the digital frontier are being forced there, with little understanding of the digital property they own and even less understanding of what may happen to those assets if they die or become incapacitated. Planning is crucial. You can even schedule Facebook, LinkedIn, and tweets to post after you die. Think about it.
Jan. 2, 2013 – In 2009, Wisconsin passed a domestic partnership law granting certain rights to same-sex couples who live together. A lawsuit challenged the law as unconstitutional. Recently, a state appeals court upheld the law in a case likely headed for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Jan. 4, 2012 – The Wisconsin Judicial Benchbook series is among the best sellers of the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE™ publications. The 2011 revisions and supplements for each of the five criminal and traffic, civil, family, juvenile, and probate, guardianship and mental health volumes include statutory amendments and case law developments occurring since the 2010 supplements.
Dec. 7, 2011 – Although the economy is showing signs of recovery, many people – including first responders – cannot stretch their budgets to include essential legal documents. Despite the inherent risk in a first responder’s job, says Kristine Havlik, it is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of first responders lack even a simple will. That’s where you come in.
April 20, 2011 – State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE™ recently updated Eckhardt's Workbook for Wisconsin Estate Planners. Last revised in 2008, the new supplement highlights developments in the law including the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 and the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in newly created chapter 244 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
April 20, 2011 — This month the State Bar reminds lawyers about the importance of promoting advance care planning with their families, friends, and clients. In this video, William Colby, attorney for the controversial Nancy Cruzan right-to-die case, talks about the legal and medical impact of these issues.
April 6, 2011 – The State Bar Elder and Health Law sections are participating in National Health Care Decisions Day on April 16. Free electronic copies of the State Bar consumer guide, A Gift to Your Family: Planning Ahead for Future Health Needs, will be available from April 8 to April 25 on WisBar.org. Print copies, both English and Spanish, are available to members for a discounted price for the month of April.
Dramatic changes in the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes occurred in December 2010. But unless congress extends them, the changes will expire at the end of 2012 and will revert to the federal law in place in 2001. This uncertainty makes estate planning even more challenging. Here is a look at the federal changes and the current state of Wisconsin's estate and gift taxes.