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Madison Wisconsin Estate Planning Blog

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day

Did you know?

During the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III, as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence.
 
Have a safe and happy Independence Day from all of us at Wilson Law Group!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The New Wisconsin Trust Code: effective July 1, 2014

Wisconsin has never been considered a leading jurisdiction for the creation and administration of trusts.  Thanks to years of volunteer work by some dedicated Wisconsin attorneys, that perception will change significantly on July 1, 2014, when the new Wisconsin Trust Code will go into effect and replace the current Chapter 701 of the Wisconsin statutes.
Read more . . .


Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Father's Day from Wilson Law Group!

On July 19, 1910, the governor of Washington state proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day". However, it was not until 1972 that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.
 
Have a Happy Father's day weekend!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Upcoming RWay Member Workshop

Trustee Training-The Administrative Process

Thursday, June 19, 2014 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
UW Agricultural Research Station- 8502 Mineral Point Road, Verona, WI 53593

Who should attend:  This program is designed for your successor trustees.  Prior attendance at the Trustee Training (The Trust Process) program is highly encouraged.  The Administrative Process workshop will provide trustees with a detailed description of the decisions to be made and the tasks to be completed following the death or incapacity of a trustmaker.  These include valuing assets, administering retirement plans and annuities, dividing and distributing trust assets, and preparing estate and fiduciary income tax returns.  It is important to know how to handle these responsibilities before the need exists.  We encourage you and your successor trustees to attend this workshop.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Living Trusts and Probate Avoidance

You want your money and property to go to your loved ones when you die, not to the courts, lawyers or the government. Unfortunately, unless you’ve done proper estate planning, your heirs could lose a sizable portion of their inheritance to probate court fees and expenses. A properly-crafted and “funded” living trust is the ideal probate-avoidance tool which can save thousands in legal costs, enhance family privacy and avoid lengthy delays in distributing property to your loved ones.


Read more . . .


Monday, June 2, 2014

Upcoming RWay Member Workshop

Trustee Training (The Trust Process)

Thursday, June 12, 2014 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
UW Agricultural Research Station- 8502 Mineral Point Road, Verona, WI 53593

Who should attend: Anyone who may serve as a trustee or successor trustee for a living trust.  This includes the surviving spouse, adult children or others you have named in your trust who want to understand how a trust works.  The program will provide attendees with an understanding of estate planning concepts, why a trust is useful in family planning, and an introduction to the trust administration process. 

Attendance is a must for every trustee of every trust.  A workbook will be included. We encourage you and your successor trustees to attend this workshop. 

This program is a precursor for the Trustee Training (The Administrative Process) program.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Treating Children Fairly Does Not Necessarily Mean Equally

Most parents want to treat their children fairly in their estate planning, and many assume that means having their children inherit equally. But fair does not necessarily mean equal. There may be special circumstances to consider.


Read more . . .


Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day from Wilson Law Group!

Did you know that each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time?  Take a moment this Memorial Day to reflect and appreciate those who have served this beautiful country.

Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend!

 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Can I Get In Trouble with the IRS for Trying to Reduce the Amount of Estate Tax that I Owe?

You’ve likely heard that one of the many benefits of estate planning is reducing the amount of federal, and state, taxes owed upon your passing. While it may seem like estate tax planning must run afoul of IRS rules, with the proper strategies, this is far from the case.

It is very common for an individual to take steps to try to reduce the amount of federal estate taxes that his or her "estate" will be responsible for after the person's death. As you may know, you may pass an unlimited amount of assets to your spouse without incurring any federal estate taxes. You may pass $5.25 million to non-spouse beneficiaries without incurring federal estate tax and if your spouse died before you, and if you have taken certain steps to add your spouse's $5.25 million exemption to your own, you may have $10.5 million that you can pass tax free to non-spouse beneficiaries.

If your estate is still larger than these exemption amounts there are legal, legitimate planning techniques that will help reduce the taxable value of your estate in order to pass more assets to your loved ones upon your death and lessen the impact of the estate taxes. After your death, the duty normally falls on your executor (or perhaps a successor trustee) to file the appropriate tax returns and pay the necessary taxes. Failure to properly plan for potential estate taxes will significantly limit what your executor/trustee will be able to accomplish after your passing.

If you have taken steps to try to reduce the taxes owed, it is possible that the IRS may challenge the reported value or try to throw out the method you used. This does not mean that the executor/trustee will be in trouble; it just means that they will need to be prepared to support their position with the IRS and take it through an audit or even a tax court (or other appropriate court system). In the event of a challenge, a good attorney will be critical to ensure all of the necessary steps are taken.


Friday, May 9, 2014

A Shared Home but Not a Joint Deed

Many people erroneously assume that when one spouse dies, the other spouse receives all of the remaining assets; this is often not true and frequently results in unintentional disinheritance of the surviving spouse.


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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| Phone: 608-833-4001
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