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.
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.
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.
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.