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Madison Wisconsin Estate Planning Blog

Monday, May 25, 2015

What's up in Washington?

On April 16 the United States House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 242 to 179 House Resolution 1105 entitled “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015”. The vote was largely along party lines, and the resolution proposes the repeal of the estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax, while retaining the gift tax. Under this resolution, gift tax would be imposed at a maximum rate of 35% on lifetime gifts exceeding $5,000,000, adjusted for inflation after the year 2011. The Senate is currently considering similar legislation. The White House has indicated that it would veto this bill as it is projected to add $269 Billion to the deficit over ten years without any reduction in spending.
It is interesting to note that House Resolution 1105 contains no provision for “carry over basis” and retains the stepped up basis rules that exempt capital gains on assets held until death from income taxes. It seems as if there just isn’t a Congressional Session without an attempt to repeal or modify the estate tax and this year appears to be no different. As both the Senate and House Resolutions are considered and perhaps presented to the President, it bears watching.

Even the third branch of government, the Supreme Court, will be dealing with issues that could greatly affect estate planners everywhere. Oral arguments are scheduled in Obergefell vs. Hodges and three related cases on April 28, 2015. The issue is whether due process and equal protection, under the Constitution are available for persons of the same sex wishing to marry. The Constitutional protection would override the rights of states to govern marriages within their borders. This case, arising out of the Sixth Circuit, is  from the only appellate circuit thus far to deny marriage rights to persons of the same sex following the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor v. U.S., an estate tax refund case. The implications for the marital deduction for gift and estate taxes, as well as joint income tax filings and other tax benefits (including spousal protection under ERISA) will have repercussions for estate planners throughout the country. It appears that all three branches of the federal government are simultaneously involved in issues that will have great import to planning decisions in the future.

As they say on television – “Stay tuned”.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to Minimize Legal Fees after Death

Death is a costly business.  Aside from funeral expenses, legal fees can take a big chunk out of how much is left for your loved ones after you’re gone. 

But it doesn't have to be this way.  Careful planning can minimize the legal fees your loved ones will pay after you die.  Here’s how:


Read more . . .


Friday, May 08, 2015

Happy Mother's Day Weekend

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.

Did You Know?
More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.

Many people outside Mexico mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican independence, which was declared more than 50 years before the Battle of Puebla.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day

Founded in 1970 as a day of education on environmental issues, Earth Day is now a global holiday. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight

 

Did you Know? A highlight of the United Nations' Earth Day celebration in New York City is the ringing of the Peace Bell, a gift from Japan, at the exact moment of the vernal equinox.

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/earth-day

 

Let our plan for future generations to include a healthy planet for years to come.  Happy Earth Day from Wilson Law Group!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

Administrative Professionals Day and Administrative Professionals Week are widely observed in many workplaces in the United States and other countries around the world. The first National Secretaries Week was organized in 1952.

The National Secretaries Association was formed to recognize the contributions of secretaries and other administrative personnel to the economy, to support their personal development and to help attract people to administrative careers in the field. The association's name was changed to Professional Secretaries International in 1981 and, finally, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) in 1998.

There is no doubt that our office would not function smoothly without the hard work of our administrative and support staff.  Thank you!

 


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Role of The Successor Trustee
When creating a trust, it is common practice that the person doing the estate planning will name themselves as trustee and will appoint a successor trustee to handle matters once they pass on.  If you have been named successor trustee for a person that has died, it is important that you hire an attorney to assist you in carrying out your duties. Although the attorney that originally created the estate plan would most likely be more familiar with the situation, you are not legally required to hire that same attorney. You can hire any attorney that you please in order to determine what your obligations are.

Read more . . .


Saturday, April 04, 2015

Happy Easter

This celebration of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead is Christianity's most important holiday. It has been called a movable feast because it doesn't fall on a set date every year.  Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year.

In addition to its religious significance, Easter also has a commercial side, as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallow chicks that appear in stores each spring. As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and pagan traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of this holy holiday.

Did you Know?  Over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year.

 http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-easter


Wishing you a safe and happy Easter weekend from all of us at Wilson Law Group!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now
A common misconception is that only wealthy families and people in high risk professions need to put together an asset protection plan.  But in reality, anyone can be sued.  A car accident, foreclosure, unpaid medical bills, or an injured tenant can result in a monetary judgment that will decimate your finances.  Below are three tips that you can use right now to protect your assets from creditors, predators and lawsuits.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

Did you know? 

We should be wearing blue!  Saint Patrick himself would have to deal with pinching on his feast day. His color was “Saint Patrick’s blue,” a light shade. The color green only became associated with the big day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.

 

Wishing you all the luck of the Irish.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wilson Law Group, LLC


Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Leave Assets to Adult Children

When considering how to leave assets to adult children, the first step is to decide how much each one should receive. Most parents want to treat their children fairly, but this doesn't necessarily mean they should receive equal shares of the estate. For example, it may be desirable to give more to a child who is a teacher than to one who has a successful business, or to compensate a child who has been a primary caregiver.


Read more . . .


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With Offices in Madison, WI and Evansville, WI, the attorneys at the Wilson Law Group assist clients with Estate & Business Planning, Probate & Trust Administration, Elder Law and Medicaid Planning throughout Southern Wisconsin including Verona, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Cross Plains, Oregon, Black Earth, Janesville, Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Baraboo, Reedsburg, Richland Center, Mount Horeb, Monroe, Beaver Dam, Dane County, Rock County, Green County, Iowa County, Richland County, Sauk County, Columbia County, Dodge County and Jefferson County.

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