Often, old age is accompanied by declines in cognition that can negatively affect an older person’s ability to engage in estate planning. But even when they don’t, beneficiaries might use a testator’s age and normal age-related behavior as reasons to challenge a will or other testamentary document. The growing number of older people with cognitive challenges will bring with it an increase in estate litigation.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court concluded in In re Meister that a grandparent, great-grandparent, or stepparent need not prove a parent-child relationship in order to secure visitation rights under Wis. Stat. section 767.43(1). Will this decision expand grandparent visitation litigation in Wisconsin?
Intellectual property can be a significant element of a person’s estate, and for artists, that intellectual property likely will be copyright. For lawyers advising clients, identifying, and cataloging property consisting of copyright is particularly important – and challenging.
Wis. Stat. section 767.75 now provides that all income assignments must be for a fixed sum regardless of whether the court-ordered obligation on which the assignment is based is expressed in the court order as a percentage of the payer's income. This means that if a stipulation is approved for a percentage expressed support amount, the order must be converted to a flat dollar amount for purposes of withholding.
Every divorce lawyer has seen it – a domestic violence perpetrator who abuses the family pet as a way to inflict pain on a spouse or other family member. Act 253, while not a cure-all, offers protections for victims’ pets through DM orders.
Jan. 20, 2016 – Unlike other areas of law, there is no “magic age” for when children have a right to be heard. For numerous reasons, we need train GALs not only on the substantive law, but on how to talk to children who are caught in the middle of family battles.
Jan. 6, 2016 – Is there a good alternative to hourly billing divorce clients? This author believes hourly billing remains the best option, but integrity in billing practices and attention to early settlement options just might save divorce lawyers from obsolescence.
Rene Von Schleinitz died in 1972. His will provided for a trust to hold land with “improvements,” including cottages on Cedar Lake in West Bend. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that “improvements” did not include septic and well systems serving a cocottage built and owned by Von Schleinitz’s daughter and her husband.
Sept. 16, 2015 – The number of Americans choosing to cohabitate instead of marry is at an all-time high for every age group. While Wisconsin does not recognize common law marriage, these “de facto marriages” often mimic traditional divorce cases when cohabitation relationships end.
Sept. 16, 2015 – Today, the trend is to settle – rather than litigate – family law cases. While settling is important, how the case is settled is just as important. Here are some resources to help you gain the skills to effectively negotiate a settlement.
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.
May 6, 2015 – Could standards, similar to child support, work for spousal support? Earlier this year Illinois put into effect a statute for maintenance guidelines. Could it happen in Wisconsin? The author believes maintenance guidelines are a good idea if they are advisory, allowing for judicial discretion. Ignoring individual circumstances creates more harm than good.
Wisconsin’s family law statutes presume that a couple’s property will be equally divided at separation or divorce. Marital waste is one factor that may allow a deviation from this presumption, but different courts treat marital waste in various ways. Here are some strategies for effectively representing divorcing clients who may have wasted marital assets, or who believe their spouse wasted assets and are seeking compensation in support or the division of marital assets and debts.
Nov. 5, 2014 – Same-sex marriage is now the reality in Wisconsin. But lawyers and same-sex couples will still encounter many legal questions that are still unanswered. In this article, attorney Christopher Krimmer raises various legal issues and offers some solutions.
Sept. 17, 2014 – Parents or legal guardians are vested with the power to make medical decisions for their minor children or wards, but this power is not absolute. In this video, Madison attorney Tyler Wilkinson highlights considerations for attorneys facing medical decision-making issues.
Bullying in school is particularly hard to combat, because children generally do not have the option of avoiding the problem by changing locations. Read how schools, parents, and communities are fighting back against bullying.